On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Doctor Errors on Tuesday, September 30, 2014.

Following the advice or orders of a healthcare worker may essentially be placing your life in his or her hands. Because of this, doctor errors can be exceptionally damaging to New Jersey patients. In an effort to reduce the threat of injury to patients who are usually hoping to get well, one doctor believes that the healthcare industry should be open about mistakes.

Efforts are already underway to protect patients from mishaps that can occur during shift changes or various interruptions to the normal work flow. These are generally undertaken by IT start-ups who have helped implement communication devices in hospitals. However, there does not appear to be anything that addresses the obvious issue that healthcare workers are humans who can, and do, make mistakes.

Instead of opening up to this, it is not uncommon that healthcare workers and/or hospitals may attempt to hide a serious mistake in order to avoid serious repercussions. In fact, many states have made it legal for doctors to sympathize with families or patients when an outcome is poor, but they are not required to admit any fault if it was caused by them. Additionally, the system for doctors to report errors may also need to be more transparent.

It appears that the healthcare industry is not conducive to acknowledging doctor errors or other mistakes which, for some patients, may only cause further injury or emotional damage. Even if a doctor or healthcare worker denies any wrongdoing in an injury that you suffered while under their care, you may still be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim against them. The successful litigation of this type of claim can be crucial if you are dealing with overwhelming medical bills and/or pain and suffering related to your injury.

Source: medcitynews.com, “To reduce medical errors, doctor-author explains the need to undo toxic culture of perfection”, Stephanie Baum, Sept. 10, 2014