When you require medical attention, you hope that your needs are seamlessly met with few complications. And while you can likely anticipate working with compassionate and highly skilled medical professions, there are several instances in which error can take place. In fact, according to John Hopkins Hospital, medical mishaps are the third leading cause of death in the US. And they can occur in any healthcare setting.
There are several types of errors of which to be aware. They might be related to medication, anesthesia, hospital-acquired infections, missed or delayed diagnosis, treatment, follow-ups, or technical errors. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the particular causes of mistakes in healthcare. When it’s your life on the line, each step, interaction, process, and procedure counts.
Causes of Error:
- Communication Errors: As in most circumstances, poor communication will inevitably lead to error. And as such, communication errors in medicine are the most common. Most medical conditions are treated with collaboration and instruction among several different professionals. And so, there are many opportunities for communicating mishaps that can lead to compromised treatment.
- Inadequate Patient Information Transfer: No patient, treatment plan, or recovery process looks quite the same. So each piece of detailed information connected to a patient is vital for their customized treatment plan. And so often, a patient is not treated by just one nurse or doctor, or even in only one facility. That’s why the transfer of patient information must happen with complete accuracy. When even a small detail is excluded, it may negatively influence prescribing decisions, understanding of test results, and the coordination of medical orders.
- Human Error: Of course, no one will do their job without any error in the course of their career, including medical professionals. So mistakes, negligent or not, can lead to significant medical errors. These occur when the standard of care, policies, or procedures are not followed precisely.
- Technical Difficulties: We all can likely share in our frustration with technology. However, the malfunction of medical technology can pose a serious danger to a patient. Medical errors can take place with medical devices, implants, grafts, and pieces of equipment.
- Inadequate policies: Policies and procedures on patient treatment are purposeful and aim to protect the individual receiving care. So, any breach of the process of care, poor communication of the procedure, or the inadequacies within the policy may lead to error.
While medical science advancements and well-trained professionals cause miraculous recovery in so many patients, error is still prevalent and potentially dangerous. So, if you or a loved one has suffered injury from a medical mistake that you believe to have been rooted in negligence, be sure to reach out for legal assistance. We at Peach and Weathers are the Redlands’ trusted medical malpractice law firm, and we are prepared to serve your legal needs in this challenging time. Do not hesitate to call on us for expert legal counsel and compassionate advocacy!