Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

Many Baltimore residents are already beginning to think about their New Year's resolutions. The New Year is often thought of a time to reflect on the past year and think of areas where one can improve himself or herself and start anew.

Many Maryland healthcare centers should be encouraged to do the same to learn from their mistakes, some of which may lead to medical malpractice actions. There are certainly many lessons that can be learned from the past year, which should be incorporated into the future of patient care.

For instance, according to the Institute of Medicine, about 1.5 million Americans suffer an adverse event because of a medication error every year. There may be multiple reasons behind these errors, including improper dosing by providers and communication problems between providers.

In addition to medication errors, providers also make diagnostic errors that can cause adverse events for patients. Indeed, these errors are the most common kind of errors that lead to medical malpractice cases, with experts noting that the errors may be even more common than most people realize. Once again, communication problems can lead to misdiagnoses as can errors in conducting patient tests.

Ultimately, no matter what kind of errors are made, the result can be serious injury to the patients who are on the receiving end of the providers' errors. As noted above, when doctors or other healthcare professionals make errors, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed based upon the providers' negligence. The lawsuit may seek compensation to provide some relief for the patient's injuries, which can include damages for medical expenses, therapy and pain and suffering. Not only will the compensation help the injured patient, it can be a vital step toward forcing providers to correct their mistakes, so that future patients are not hurt.

Source: Becker's Hospital Review, "10 top patient safety issues for 2015," Akanksha Jayanthi, Dec. 10, 2014

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