How serious of an issue is medical malpractice in the United States?
We alluded to the seemingly intractable problem of misdiagnosis in medical facilities across the United States in our immediately preceding blog post. In today's entry, we spotlight some of the catalysts that notably contribute to diagnostic error.
It's certainly reasonable to assume that the bottle of pills you're now carrying out of a Ventura County pharmacy that were prescribed by your doctor contain the correct medication for dealing with your diagnosed medical condition, right?
Among the biggest fears that many patients across California and the rest of the country have regarding hospital admittance is that they might become the victim of medical malpractice.
You pay a premium -- no doubt about that -- for the hospital in-patient "experience," so you certainly want things done in a timely and conscientious manner.
People in Southern California step away from their jobs all the time. They may become a stay-at-home parent or caregiver to an ill loved one, or they may have to deal with a serious illness of their own.
We have previously discussed how important it is to be an informed patient. Certainly, it is important to seek out qualified medical professionals and, at least to some extent, trust in their expertise. However, medical professionals are human and are ultimately prone to make mistakes and missteps. As a result, it is important to be an informed patient so that you place yourself in the best possible position to advocate on behalf of your own health and wellbeing.
A recently published study in the medical journal Academic Emergency Medicine made some truly eye-opening findings concerning the practice of defensive medicine, meaning when physicians order an excess of diagnostic exams out of concerns over a possible misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.
We recently began a discussion about the top technology-related hazards affecting patient safety today. We noted that utilizing potentially hazardous technology does not usually constitute an act of medical malpractice. However, if healthcare providers fail to use technology properly or use hazardous technology in negligent ways, these acts may rise to the level of malpractice in certain cases.
For the fourth consecutive year, the independent organization known as ECRI has published a list of the top ten most dangerous systems and devices currently plaguing healthcare. It is hoped that the information contained within this list will inspire both manufacturers and healthcare facilities to reevaluate their approaches in regards to utilizing these devices and systems. Absent reform, patients may be unnecessarily harmed by this technology.