In the United States, medical errors claim 251,000 lives every year. When you break it down, this figure is equal to almost 700 deaths per day and 9.5% of total deaths every year. In fact, a 2016 study by patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins ranks medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer. All of this points to the dire need for patients and physicians alike to reconsider their approach towards health and treatment.
The analysis shows that medical errors in hospitals and other health-care facilities are incredibly common. Medical negligence covers a wide range of things including unnecessary surgery, medication, and infections. These errors often stem from systemic issues such as a breakdown in communication when patients are passed from one department to another.
What Can Patients Do?
Patients can help avoid diagnostic errors by becoming more knowledgeable themselves. Engaged patients can play an important role in identifying diagnostic errors before they lead to serious harm. What’s more, if you are unsure about your initial diagnosis, it’s always a good idea to ask questions and get a second opinion if necessary.
What Can Physicians Do?
Doctors can help reduce diagnostic errors by developing a deep understanding of the errors that most commonly occur. They can also make use all available resources to help before making a final diagnosis. It’s critical to always stop to think and make the patient your partner in the diagnostic process.
Find Out More About Medical Negligence
If you are interested in the subject of medical negligence and would like to find out more we recommend that you take a look at the below infographic guide from the team at Hussey Fraser Injury Solicitors.
Last modified: March 12, 2019