What are common causes of medical errors?

| May 7, 2020 | Firm News

A shocking report in 1999 opened not only the eyes of the medical community but also of the general public—medical errors caused the deaths of almost 100,000 people a year. This may come as a surprise to Winona readers, who expect that their doctors have all the answers and can do no wrong. But the truth is that doctors are also human and can make mistakes that put their patients at risk.

A new book looking into medical mistakes claims that electronic record keeping can be one of its causes. If medical personnel are hurried and not given enough time to put their thoughts together, they are likely to make simple mistakes. On the other end of the spectrum is being too cautious—being too careful can be exhausting and also be a cause of mistakes.

Medical tests often give incorrect answers or yield too much information. Another cause for nurses to be hurrying is because of short staffing—the fewer the people working, the more the burden there is on them.

While changes such as checklists, reduced hours for staff so they are more rested and improved medical knowledge have reduced medical errors, mistakes are still made on a daily basis. While some recommend taking someone with you to the medical office to ask questions and keep an eye on everyone, experts also say it is crucial to ensure one has their medical personnel’s complete attention.

A mistake in the hospital can cost a patient everything. Not only are they emotionally devastated, but it takes a financial toll as well. Patients often need follow-up procedures, or in a worst-case scenario, long-term care they would not have otherwise needed. Understanding when to file a medical malpractice suit is one to recoup the financial cost of a doctor or surgeon’s medical errors. An experienced attorney can discuss one’s options with them.