Common Causes of Medical MistakesNovember 6, 2019
According to a recent study from Johns Hopkins, more people die from medical errors than strokes, Alzheimer’s, or diabetes. In fact, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country. While these tragic mistakes happen in almost every health care setting, some patients are at greater risk than others, including Medicare patients being cared for at hospitals. By understanding the common causes of medical errors, and taking the appropriate preventative measures, patients and their families can take steps to protect themselves and improve their quality of care.
The following are the most common medical errors, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:
- Communication Issues: When there is a communication breakdown, mistakes are more likely to happen. Whether written or verbal, effective communication between physicians, nurses, other healthcare professionals, and the patient can help avoid serious medical errors.
- Human Errors: While all humans can make mistakes, there is no excuse for carelessness. Examples of medical errors caused by human error include poor documentation, incorrectly labelling specimens, or failing to administer a medication at the appropriate time.
- Inadequate Information Flow: This occurs when important patient information is not forwarded to another facility if a patient is transferred or discharged. The following are examples of problems that can occur when there is insufficient information:
– This can impact prescribing decisions
– Test results can be impacted
– Medication orders for transfer of care are not well-coordinated
- Inadequate Policies: Poor documentation and non-existent or ineffective procedures can lead to a breakdown in the process of care.
- Organizational Transfer of Knowledge: These are caused by lack of training or inadequate education for the type of care being provided.
- Patient-Related Issues: These errors include incorrect patient identification, incomplete patient assessments, failure to obtain patient consent, and insufficient patient education.
- Staffing Patterns and Workflow: Inadequate staffing can increase the risk of medical errors if a health care professional is overworked and underqualified to provide a specific type of care.
- Technical Failures: These can include medical devices that do not work properly, or failures with implants, grafts, or other pieces of medical equipment.
While doctors, nurses, and other health care providers are human and capable of making mistakes, if there was negligence involved, the patient may wish to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. A skilled and experienced medical malpractice lawyer can address all your questions and concerns and recommend the best legal course of action based on the details of your case.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Medical Errors
If you or someone you know was injured, or if your health was compromised due to a medical mistake, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We have a proven track record of reaching successful settlements for victims of medical errors. Our skilled and dedicated legal team will thoroughly review the details of your case and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW(4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.