With the ongoing medical malpractice crisis – now the third leading cause of death in the United States – safety advocates are working with hospitals, medical professionals and public regarding ways to guard against negligent conduct and harm.
The main forms of medical malpractice include several different types of errors – surgical mistakes, infections, anesthesia overdoses, to name a few. However, communication errors are often the root cause of many medical malpractice claims. This may occur when doctors or nurses fail to listen, ask the right question and/or properly document a patient’s medical history. Many patients complain that doctors rush through exams – not taking the time to establish a relationship with a patient, and thus not eliciting the proper information to create the correct diagnosis. One way to avoid this is to avoid double booking patients, and ensuring the time spent with the patient is spent wisely. This includes accurate record keeping. Although electronic record keeping has seen an increase in medical malpractice claims based on inaccuracies, overall its introduction has significantly reduced medical malpractice errors.
Further, even when doctors make accurate diagnoses, it is important for them to properly convey the diagnosis, treatment options, and outcome expectations.
The bottom line – ensuring that all lines of communication are open and well-documented. This allows for both patient and health care provider the opportunity to ensure the best possible outcome.
Unfortunately however, medical mistakes still occur with great frequency. If you or a loved one have suffered any harm due medical negligence, please contact the experienced California medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.