Why Medical Mistakes Will Continue To Happen
It’s been almost six months since the world has become aware of Covid-19 and yet, serious mistakes and misdiagnosing are still increasing throughout the health care systems. Well let’s talk about those mistakes, which the health industry calls “diagnostic errors”. Regardless of the words or phrases the professionals like to use…the patient is the one who is harmed.
“Testing for COVID-19 has been a problem, but we have also seen new issues emerge such as reports of patients not seeking help due to fear of the pandemic, with delayed diagnosis of heart attacks, stroke diagnoses and typical emergencies. All of these misdiagnoses can lead to patient harm from delays in the correct treatment,” said Dr. Hardeep Singh, author and professor of medicine at Baylor and the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety.
“In this challenging time, it is essential to understand the types of diagnostic errors that can occur and build highly reliable systems to help support our clinicians and prevent harm to patients,” said Dr. Tejal Gandhi, the chief safety and transformation officer at Press Ganey.
Drs. Singh and Gandhi developed names for the diagnostic errors that clinicians and healthcare personnel were repeatedly making in hopes that the issues could be addressed and maybe fixed.
Classic – a delayed Covid-19 diagnosis
Anomalous – A Covid-19 patient diagnosed as non-Covid
Anchor – assuming a patient has Covid-19 when they may in fact have another illness
Secondary – when medical personnel miss underlying or secondary conditions
Acute Collateral – some people fear going to a hospital or medical facility and end up suffering a stroke or heart attack
Chronic Collateral – patients having delayed diagnosis of a serious condition due to medical facilities canceling their appointment
Strain – when medical facilities experience a surge of patients looking for care thinking they might have Covid
Unintended – misdiagnosing a patient through telehealth or indirect contact
So why do we share this information?
We share it to give you an insight into how some in the medical community are thinking to help prevent the negligence that is happening due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some do understand the underlying cause of the mistakes and are trying to educate their fellow professionals, unfortunately, the errors will continue.
Why do we say that? Why do we think mistakes will continue?
Based on our years defending people injured by negligent doctors and medical facilities here’s some reasons why mistakes will continue to happen.
1) Healthcare providers refuse to use up-to-date technologies.
2) Doctors are in such a rush to treat the next patient they forget to address concerns or encourage communication with the current patient.
3) Inexperienced doctors not using a buddy system with senior doctors to review procedures.
4) Overworked doctors are stressed and exhibit anxiety and may need counseling and peer support.
5) Refusing to share data that could minimize risks for others.
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