One thing that can play a very important role in a patient getting the right care is all the medical professionals involved in their care having the right information. Thus, good communication is vital at hospitals and doctors' offices. This includes good communication among medical professionals and good communication between patients and medical staff.
Unfortunately, there are things that can be impediments to good communication in the health care setting, including:
- Overly cumbersome electronic medical records.
- Hierarchical structures in health care workplace culture.
- Heavy workloads among medical professionals.
- The high level of interruptions in health care settings.
- Challenges related to the "handing off" of patients.
It is very important for hospitals and doctors' offices to do what they can to prevent such impediments from leading to communication mishaps in relation to patient care. Communication mishaps could lead to medical errors. Patients who have been harmed through a communication mishap at a hospital or doctors' office should consider promptly speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer so they can understand if pursuing compensation through medical malpractice litigation would be a feasible option for them.
A recent study indicates that communication problems are behind quite a few medical errors here in America. In the study, researchers reviewed 23,658 malpractice cases. The cases came from the 2009-2013 time period.
The researchers found that around 30 percent of the cases involved health-care-related communication mishaps. They further found that there were 1,744 fatalities connected to the cases which involved communication problems.
These results point to communication problems being a pretty significant health care issue here in America.
What do you see as being the biggest communication-related deficiency in health care in the U.S.? What do you think could help correct this deficiency?
Source: STAT, "Communication failures linked to 1,744 deaths in five years, US malpractice study finds," Melissa Bailey, Feb. 1, 2016