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Doctor Errors Archives

Over one-fifth of Americans report experiencing medical errors

When we go to the doctor, we expect our doctors to diagnose our illnesses accurately and offer appropriate treatment. According to a recent survey by the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago, 21 percent of American adults reported that they have personally experienced a medical error in their lifetimes. Additionally, 31 percent of adults reported that someone they cared for experienced an error. Doctor's errors can have serious consequences and leave patients and their families devastated physically, financially and emotionally.

Lack of informed consent may result in medical malpractice

Your doctor may know best when it comes to your medical care. That doesn't mean they can treat you without your consent. Before a physician can perform a procedure on a patient, they are legally required to provide their patients with information regarding their condition and possible treatments so that the patient can make an informed decision about their care. Before a physician can perform a procedure on a patient, the patient must give informed consent to undergo said procedure.

Doctors who breach duty of care may be guilty of malpractice

If a Maryland patient suffers further injury or illness as a result of a doctor's negligence, they may file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for their care and the hospital who hired them. Generally, a successful medical malpractice lawsuit will be based on whether the doctor violated their duty of care to the patient in question.

Physician "calibration" may be necessary to avoid misdiagnoses

When a patient goes to a doctor for a medical diagnosis or treatment, they expect to receive adequate care based on the standard accepted in the medical community. When a doctor fails to properly diagnose their patient, the patient may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and hospital responsible for their treatment.

Burnout can lead to physician error

Medical professionals often work long hours due to staff shortages and increased demands on quality healthcare. As a result, many doctors can suffer from "burnout." Physician burnout is caused by chronic stress and can lead to doctor's errors and patient injury. In the United States, medical errors are now the third leading cause of death, with close to 250,000 deaths every year.

Distracted surgery can result in medical errors

Most of us have heard of distracted driving. But what about distracted surgery? One of the most common forms of distraction for Maryland physicians is their cellphones. Doctors who make phone calls, send texts or look at the internet during surgery may be more likely to make mistakes during a surgery, resulting in medical malpractice. However, there are also some benefits to having access to a phone while treating patients.

Study finds mistakes with handwritten opioid prescriptions

When a doctor makes a mistake when treating a patient, the consequences can be devastating. Some of the most common doctor errors occur when a doctor makes a mistake while writing the patient's prescription. A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins found that handwritten prescriptions for opioids in particular are much less reliable than those that are done electronically.

Better communication may be key to reducing medical errors

Many medical errors seem inexplicable. How did the doctor miss the tumor? Why was the patient discharged too soon? A recent study by members of the faculties at Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality in Maryland has identified an often-ignored source of doctors' errors: lack of effective communication between members of a patient's health care team.

Efforts to cap medical malpractice damages are faltering

Conservative politicians in Maryland and elsewhere have, for years, attempted to limit damages in medical malpractice cases. Hiding these efforts under the vague title of "tort reform," Republicans in both state legislatures and the United States Congress have proposed - and occasionally enacted - laws that limit recovery for non-economic damages to $250,000. Two recent developments show that these efforts to limit damages in medical malpractice suits may be faltering.

A doctor's duty to obtain patient's informed consent to treatment

Most people in Maryland think that medical malpractice involves a doctor's mistake in diagnosing a medical condition or in prescribing treatment or making a mistake in the administration of treatment. Another kind of doctor error is the failure to obtain the patient's informed consent to treatment. Defining the term informed consent is not as simple as it may at first appear.

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