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The Increasing Challenge of Medical Mistakes

Admin - September 1, 2017 - 0 comments

Most people would be shocked to learn that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of deaths in the United States, following cancer and heart disease. It’s even possible that the known number of people who die from medical mistakes is higher since there are often discrepancies when the cause of death is documented. The reason this statistic is surprising is because we rely so heavily on healthcare professionals and sometimes forget that those charged with providing care are people who make mistakes, just like everyone else. 

Despite the fact that there are systems and processes in place to minimize the incident of errors, it’s something that occurs every single day. Whether it’s an error that occurs during a surgical procedure or an incorrect dosing of medication, the results can be deadly and devastating to family members. Which begs the question, given that lives are at stake, why exactly are medical errors so prevalent? The reasons are varied and include a lack of proper training, miscommunication and technical malfunctions. Unfortunately, although technology has advanced, the issue of medical mistakes and subsequent death is not improving. This means there’s a greater likelihood of needing a medical malpractice attorney fort lauderdale fl

It should be noted that, for the most part, medical professionals are competent professionals who dedicate their lives to caring for others. Sometimes serious errors occur when healthcare personnel are overworked because medical facilities are understaffed. The same can apply to pharmacy technicians. There are even healthcare professionals who have cautioned loved ones not to schedule surgeries during the summer months because that’s when the best doctors are vacationing, which means the incident of errors tend to rise. 

In order to combat the problem of medical mistakes, many hospitals and healthcare facilities are strengthening their safety protocols and providing more training to staff on best practices in the industry. Notably, the issue of medical mistakes doesn’t just affect patients, it can also affect healthcare teams. For instance, when proper protocols concerning infectious disease are not followed, it can create a dangerous scenario for every member of the healthcare team. There’s also the issue of providing unnecessary medical care based on a misdiagnosis, as well as complications from medication that was never needed. There have even been instances reported where doctors were incentivized to promote medical products, which begs the question of whether the medication was truly needed. 

One area that has supported positive change in recent years is the improved management of electronic health records, which are more centralized and offer more details regarding the medical history of patients. Many healthcare administrators feel hopeful that increasing technological improvements will facilitate more safeguards for the benefit of patients. Given the quantity of mistakes often made, patients and their families must be an active part of their medical care. Asking questions, getting a second opinion and soliciting a friend or family member to serve as an advocate can help to mitigate the issue of medical mistakes.

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