7 Realistic Ways To Overcome Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice lawsuits have been the cause of disagreements and tension among lawyers and their clients, and doctors and their erstwhile patients. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Lawyers are partners of the medical profession in ensuring that only treatments and procedures under acceptable standards of care are given by doctors to the general public who seek their help.
For instance, an increasing number of malpractice suits have been observed involving hernia mesh malfunctions. These malfunctions should’ve been preventable. Doctors and surgeons can get a consult (hernia mesh attorneys near me) so they can calibrate their practices and prevent untoward things from happening to their patients.
Here are some of the methods to prevent medical malpractice:
1) Deliver Good Outpatient Management And Prevent Injury
The first thing physicians ought to focus on before patients get admitted to the hospital is to make sure that they’re able to provide excellent outpatient management and prevent the patient’s illness or condition from getting worse.
To be able to realistically deal with what happens in emergency rooms and outpatient departments, hospital administrators and department heads should develop a system of monitoring and reviewing the protocol and sequence of outpatient management and care, but not overdoing it with overtreatment or unnecessary care.
Those responsible for patient care and hospital administration should find ways to minimize the degree or potential of negligence among their medical and non-medical staff. Their foremost concern should be to prevent patient injury or the worsening of diseases and illnesses.
2) Avoid Misdiagnosis And Failure Or Delayed Diagnosis
Another common ground why some patients sue their doctors for malpractice is the failure to diagnose or a delay in diagnosis. In many of the medical malpractice suits filed in the US, the most common allegation among plaintiffs is that their doctors or physicians failed to diagnose their medical condition in a timely manner.
In failures to diagnose breast cancer, for instance, one of the most frequent reasons for the failure or delay in diagnosis is that the doctor relied on a false negative mammogram result.
A palpable lump in the breast should be an alarming indicator that it might be advisable to diagnose. Mammography has been proven to be an adequate tool for screening purposes. But it has yielded 20% false-negative rates when used for diagnosis.
The meaning of diagnosis in this context is to follow through with the patient for at least one month. The objective of the diagnosis would be to find out whether the lump is resolved in the following menstrual cycle. It’s possible it might need an excisional biopsy, or the doctor might have to perform needle aspiration. Whatever may the basis be of their decision, they should follow through to diagnosis.
3) In Maternity Care, Be Proactive And Turn Over Near-Term Pregnancies
In maternity care, the two things that often escalate into medical malpractice cases are 1) when the physician insists on the use of oxytocin even if the infant is already distressed, and 2) when the patient’s doctor fails to hand off pregnant patients who are already near term. Hospital administrators should develop a routine or protocol wherein pregnant patients who are near-term would be turned over properly by physicians in charge to the alternate teams. The turnover doesn’t have to be face to face. They can do it through emails, voice mails, or video recordings.
4) Do Due Diligence For Fracture Care Management
In fracture care management, the typical cause of malpractice cases is when physicians or surgeons negligently disregarded the existence or possibility that the patients had fractures. For instance, when attending physicians examine patients who complain of wrist ‘sprains,’ the attending physicians or hospital staff should assume there are scaphoid or navicular fractures until otherwise proven by definitive x-rays and tests.
Hospital staff should treat potential fracture patients with care and caution until they’ve ruled out all possibility that there is any fracture. Otherwise, if the patient is sent home or treated as if there’s no fracture, and the injury suffers further trauma or worsens by being bumped or pressed against, then a malpractice case might be forthcoming.
5) Consult When You Can’t Figure It Out
Hospital administrators should find ways whereby attending physicians should be given a timetable within which they should already have a diagnosis of the patient’s disease, illness, or condition. Some practitioners follow a rule wherein they should be able to provide a diagnosis after three visits by the patient. It’s understandable if doctors aren’t sure yet after giving primary care, but by the second visit, they should already have a clearer clinical picture of the concern.
The point is that the doctor should already have a plan for diagnosis, treatment, and expected improvement after the patient has visited three times. When the expected improvement doesn’t occur, then the attending doctor should consult other specialists and ask for professional help.
6) Be Thorough With Procedures
Another frequent ground for malpractice suits is when physicians or surgeons conduct procedures or surgeries in which they diverted from the standard of care or medical caution demanded by the procedure. When something goes wrong with the patient after the procedure or surgery, they haul the doctors to court.
A common cause of this among the malpractice cases is that some doctors did the procedures when they were mentally distracted or too tired that they weren’t at their mental or physical best while they did the procedure or surgery. Often, the results go very bad. It’s not that these doctors didn’t know or weren’t trained for what they were doing, it’s just that they weren’t at their level best or were under heavy pressure by personal concerns.
7) Obtain Consent And Communicate Effectively
Among the non-clinical grounds of malpractice suits, the bottom line is often that the doctors and other hospital staff didn’t obtain the consent of the patients or their family members.
Doctors should give patients an understandable explanation of what they were facing and the possible consequences, potential risks, and possible outcomes of the treatment that was to be given to the patient or their loved ones. In most malpractice cases, there was a failure to communicate effectively.
The above tips are just a few of the many ways a healthcare practitioner can avoid malpractice claims. Physicians will benefit much if they stay updated with current trends and news about colleagues’ and other doctors’ malpractice cases. This is to learn from these cases and avoid them in their own practice.
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