For all of your medical needs, you are putting your trust in the American healthcare system. A major national study undertaken in 2017 investigated patient experiences with medical errors.

The survey, conducted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement/National Patient Safety Foundation Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago, interviewed 2,536 adults, almost 90% of whom had received care in a doctor’s office, health center, or clinic in the last 12 months.

While most of the respondents reported having had positive experiences with their health care, a significant number stated that medical errors had occurred. The following are highlights of the report’s findings:

  • 21% reported having a medical error in their personal care.
  • 31% reported that someone with whom they are closely involved had experienced medical error.
  • Most self-reported errors were in outpatient settings.
  • While not all medical errors caused harm, those that did had long-term or permanent impact.
  • Mistakes involving diagnosis and communication between the patient and the provider were the most common types of errors.

The big question is why do patient experiences with medical errors even occur. Respondents to the survey named numerous factors with most putting the blame on healthcare providers. The most common factors were medical workers who did not pay attention to detail, failed to listen to the patient, and those who did not have proper training. Other reasons were healthcare workers who denied that there was anything wrong with the patient when there was, did not spend enough time with the patient, and were tired, overworked, stressed and distracted.

While numerous medical errors go unnoticed or cause little or no harm, those errors which are major can and do cause serious injury or death. If you feel that you or a loved one have been harmed by an error made in a healthcare setting, you need to understand your options. A qualified medical malpractice attorney can help.

Brown, Christie & Green is an experienced law firm which specializes in medical malpractice cases involving doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. Fill out the online form for a free case evaluation.

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