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Medical Negligence Factors Contributing to Patient Injuries

By: Anapol Weiss

Patient assessment issues, communication errors, and treatment errors may be the most common factors that contribute to patient injuries in hospitals, according to a new study.

A study conducted by The Doctors Company reported that 38 percent of all claims against hospitalists, meaning in-patient physicians who work exclusively in hospitals, involve patient assessment issues. Inadequate assessments, according to the study findings, include:

  • Failure to establish a differential diagnosis

  • Failure to or delay in ordering diagnostic tests

  • Failure to consider available clinical information such as lab values, tests, symptoms or nursing observations.

The study, titled “Hospitalist Closed Claims Study: An Expert Analysis of Medical Malpractice Allegations,” also found that 23 percent of patient injuries attributed to medical negligence involved communication errors among providers. Situations included nurses’ failure to alert physicians to dangerous changes in health status, failure to communicate alterations to medications, diet and therapies, and more. Further, errors in the selection and management were involved in 16 percent of patient injuries. These mistakes included cases involving mismanaged pneumonia, infections, cardiovascular issues, and traumatic injuries.

Something has gone terribly wrong when a handful of common errors continue to occur and result in adverse health consequences for patients. We at Anapol Weiss are committed to ensuring that healthcare providers are held accountable for medical negligence and mistakes.

Contact our firm to speak with a Pennsylvania or New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer if you or a loved one was harmed by a health care provider’s carelessness. We can investigate the situation and answer your legal questions.