First, lets make one thing clear, the vast majority of patients do not experience any form of Medical Malpractice. In fact the error rate seems to only be between 5 to 80 errors per 100,000 visits to medical practitioners. That not withstanding if you are one of those who become a victim of Medical Malpractice your error rate is 100%.
Diagnostic Errors are the single largest area of risk accounting for about one third of all Medical Malpractice claims. Don’t forget this may not just be caused by a direct mistake by a doctor; it could be that the doctor is acting on incorrect information supplied by some other person, but it still results in an incorrect diagnoses.
Inadequate communication between various medical service providers was a major problem in producing claims, it is vital that doctors and other providers ensure that all relevant information is made available to avoid the risk of harm to the patient and prevent a suit for Medical Malpractice.
Incorrect record keeping was the cause of many errors, these errors seem to be have been spread pretty evenly across the various medical disciplines, so it seems that bad record keeping affects all areas of the medical profession just as it does so many areas of everyday life.
Errors in prescribing medication were found to be responsible for 19.4% of injuries according to a recent Harvard study, this hardly surprising when you consider that there is the potential to give incorrect dosage of a drug to somebody and also give the correct drugs to the wrong person!
It seems that most medical errors are not the result of any one person failing in their duty of care towards the patient, but more in basic errors, in the way the system is organised. Simple things that would never have happened if the system had more safe guards built in.
To few staff is the final major factor in producing medical errors, it is hardly surprising that errors are made when already tired staff are called on to perform extra duties. In a recent survey 50% of doctors and 70% of the public blamed overwork and tiredness as a major course of errors in the medical system.
The above list of potential courses of Medical Malpractice claims is not exclusive, but it does cover the main areas, most of these could be avoided it the Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and other practitioners took more care. But that means they need more time, and time costs money so we find ourselves back in the classic Catch 22 situation.
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