How hospital conditions contribute to misdiagnosis

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No one ever wants to go to a hospital. But car accidents, cancer and serious illnesses do not discriminate. At some point, almost everyone will wind up in the hospital – whether on their own behalf or that of a loved one. While many hospital waiting rooms have been upgraded to feel like hotels, it does not change how difficult it is to wait on a diagnosis.

The upside of having to go to a hospital is that medical treatments and capabilities are better than ever. We have better testing resources, more comprehensive medical knowledge, better research and more medication options. However, there are also conditions in the hospital that actually contribute to ongoing problems like misdiagnosis.

The state of doctors

Doctors are in a difficult position. As noted in this Forbes article, they typically spend twice as much time doing paperwork than they do speaking directly with patients. This means they spend less time getting medical histories and more time trying to figure out new systems. Limited face time with patients can result in worse outcomes. This is tied in with our recent blog post discussing the important role of patient advocates.

The state of testing and treatment

With all the options available, there is an increased risk of confusion when it comes to ordering tests or prescribing medications. Further, the sheer number of these options can make it more likely that a doctor or nurse simply can’t keep track of them all. A test and medication can only be effective when medical workers remember to order them.

The state of liability

Few will admit liability for anything that goes wrong. Doctors who make mistakes don’t want to admit they were wrong; nurses don’t want to confront doctors; the hospitals don’t want to lose money in lawsuits and settlements. Because of this, there is a lot of finger pointing and blame shifting that makes it all but impossible for a patient to know when and how a misdiagnosis was actually made.

Considering all of the elements that can make it more difficult to get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment, patients across New York must seek skilled legal advice following negative outcomes. If a diagnosis is missed or mistake is made with dosing or interaction of medications it can easily jeopardize your health of that of a loved one. In these cases, it is critical to schedule a free initial consultation with one of the medical malpractice attorneys at Weisfuse & Weisfuse LLP to discuss what happened and whether a claim is warranted.

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