A 2016 study revealed that medical errors as the third leading cause of death in America. In fact, medical errors take 251,000 lives every year which works out at almost 700 deaths per day. There is a duty of care expected from medical professional towards their patients and these figures clearly indicate the need for change within the healthcare system.
What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence comes in many forms. Some common examples of medical negligence include unnecessary surgery, misdiagnosis and medication errors. These errors have been avoided if the medical practitioner followed the standard of care expected of them.
Medical negligence: A systemic problem
Healthcare systems link hundreds of different processes, practices, procedures, and technologies to deliver safer and accurate diagnoses. In many cases, medical negligence stem from systemic issues for example a breakdown in communication when patients are passed from one department to another. While these are of course built with patient safety as the priority, the sheer complexity can lead to mistakes happening despite everyone’s best efforts.
What can medical practitioners and physicians do?
Medical practitioners and physicians can do their bit to help lower instances of medical negligence by taking the time to learn about the most commonly occurring errors. It’s also important to make the patient your partner in the diagnostic process. Poor communication can negatively impact the healthcare provider-patient relationship and damage the patient’s perception of the quality of care received.
What can patients do?
Patients can also play a role in preventing diagnostic errors before they lead to serious harm by becoming more knowledgeable themselves, asking questions and getting second opinions if necessary.
Learn more about medical negligence
If you would like to find out more about why medical negligence occurs, why not take a look at the highly informative infographic guide below from the team at Hussey Fraser Injury Solicitors.