It is no secret that communication plays a pivotal role in healthcare. Studies show that lack of communication, also known as medical miscommunication, may be the third leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer.
This was a conclusion made by Journal of Patient Safety back in 2013. Studies have shown that eliminating healthcare miscommunication and improving communication between healthcare providers and caregivers and their patients can reduce patient injuries caused by medical errors by 30 percent.
“When is the highest risk of becoming a victim of communication failure?” you may be wondering. Our Philadelphia medical miscommunication attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC, explains that you are at risk of suffering harm due to poor communication between medical providers when you are transferred or “handed off.”
These are the periods when doctors, nurses, physicians, and other medical professionals are supposed to pass on critical information about the patient. Unfortunately, when there is a shift change at the hospital or a patient is discharged from one hospital and transferred to another one, there is a high risk of healthcare miscommunication.
These are the four most common forms of poor medical communication:
It makes sense why communication plays such an important role in healthcare. After all, proper workplace communication between medical providers is the only way to ensure a satisfactory healthcare outcome. Only good communication between medical professionals can reduce the risk of medical errors and enhance the efficiency of medical treatment.
In the event of a lack of communication between healthcare staff members, there is a heightened risk of causing harm to patients, damaging morale, and committing medical malpractice.
It is understandable why healthcare providers are likely to make medical errors due to medical miscommunication. After all, doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals work long hours, are under extreme pressure and are almost always short on time, which makes them prone to high-stress levels, fatigue, and burnout.
Nonetheless, there cannot be any excuse for a doctor’s failure to communicate critical information about a patient, and you should pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit if you believe that medical miscommunication has taken place and caused you harm. Talk to an experienced healthcare miscommunication attorney in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania to discuss your case.
Causes of medical miscommunication vary from one case to another, but the main causes of poor communication between hospital staff members, specialists, doctors, patients, and third parties are:
Miscommunication about the patient’s condition is said to be the biggest communication issue between healthcare providers. In the doctor-to-patient communication, meanwhile, failure to obtain informed consent, failure to sympathetically respond to complaints, failure to inform of risks and adverse effects, and failure to provide follow-up instructions are the most common types of medical miscommunication.
If you have become a victim of healthcare miscommunication, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our medical malpractice lawyers at The Weitz Firm, LLC. Call our offices at 267-587-6240 today.