When you go to the doctor for medical treatment, you trust that you will be treated with care and be provided the best treatment possible, and rightfully so. The vast majority of physicians, nurses and other healthcare experts across the state of New York are skilled, well-trained and highly capable professionals. Even though most doctors and nurses are caring and dedicated individuals, they are also human, and humans will make mistakes.
You may be surprised to learn that, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study, medical errors or mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the entire country. Knowing why most of these errors occur can help you determine if you are at risk and what the next steps are if you tragically become a victim. Here are a few of the common root causes of medical errors in the United States.
Poor information flow
The flow of patient information is crucial in every healthcare setting. If you’re a patient transferred to another department, facility or organization, your medical history, treatments and other necessary information must follow you in order for that facility to adequately care for you. Unfortunately, if your information does not flow properly, your treatment could be wrong or insufficient.
Communication problems or lack of communication
Communication problems or breakdowns in communication are some of the most common causes of medical errors these days. These communication issues can happen between doctors and nurses, or between you and your providers. In today’s fast-paced healthcare setting, doctors often have the task of caring for multiple patients, so it is not uncommon for them to be in a rush. This can contribute to communication breakdowns.
Humans will make mistakes — it’s a guarantee. However, if someone makes a mistake during your medical procedure or treatment, the consequences can be disastrous. Especially if you are undergoing a surgical procedure. Surgery is a step-by-step process in which doctors and nurses must follow every detail and step meticulously. When healthcare providers fail to follow procedures or standards, it can result in injuries or even the death of patients.
What to do in the aftermath
Successful medical treatment requires expertise and keen attention to detail from all providers involved in your care. Unfortunately, errors are going to happen from time to time — it is just inevitable. If you suffer an injury due to negligence during your medical treatment, it is important to know you are not helpless or alone. You may be able to pursue rightful monetary damages through a medical malpractice claim.