Medicine is a pretty fast-paced field, and — like any other industry — it’s prone to errors. With all the pressures of the modern medical environment, from the unbelievable schedules and lack of staffing to the way that electronic health record systems are constantly being changed, it’s more challenging than ever to avoid litigation.
You may be wondering what leads to medical malpractice claims — and what you can do to avoid them. Despite all the changes in modern medicine, the major problems tend to be pretty familiar:
Evaluating a medical condition can be tricky even for the most skilled and educated professionals. Because of how many illnesses and health conditions exist, doctors may misdiagnose one health issue for another and prescribe them for medication, therapy or surgery. As a result, their patient may develop worse symptoms or undergo treatment that doesn’t work.
2. Missed diagnosis
A missed diagnosis is commonly confused with a misdiagnosis. The difference being is that a missed diagnosis leads a trained health professional to overlook a condition, which can ultimately lead to poorer patient outcomes.
3. Surgical errors
A surgical error can happen in many ways: a surgeon may perform on the wrong side of the body, there may be instruments left in the body or there may be unsanitized instruments that lead to an infection. The safety procedures before and during surgery can never be overlooked.
4. Drug errors
It’s all too easy to write down one drug name when you’re actually thinking of another — especially if their names are similar. A misplaced decimal point in the dosage amount can also spell disaster. Similarly, forgetting to check a patient’s allergies or not looking for harmful drug interactions before prescribing can be devastating to a patient’s health.
5. Delayed aid
As any good doctor knows, a patient should be contacted immediately if their tests show startling results that might be life-threatening. Unfortunately, communications can go awry, and office staff may fail to contact someone right away — which can also lead to poorer outcomes.
It’s wise to remember that not every bad medical outcome is actually malpractice. It can be easy to second-guess yourself. That’s why you need experienced legal guidance for your medical malpractice defense.