Each professional must overcome numerous obstacles before receiving the designation of “certified” physician or nurse. Apart from the prominent, difficult examinations and all-nighters, healthcare workers must pledge full duty and devotion to their patients. While providing top-standard healthcare is an objective for all healthcare professionals, there is always a risk of medical errors!
A “mistake” or act of negligence caused by a healthcare worker harms the patient is known as “medical malpractice.” It can be any action that worsens the original condition or causes another state in the patient. Unnecessary surgeries, too, can count as a case of malpractice. Thousands of lawsuits are filed against medical malpractices every day, and this number is increasing with time. This article seeks to discuss the adverse effects of this trend on the community while addressing ways to avoid this disaster.
How Can I Avoid Malpractice as A Healthcare Worker?
Two of the critical elements required to succeed in a health-oriented field are patient values and individual administration skills. It’s a common topic of discussion that due to the stress of the healthcare profession, physicians tend to pay less attention to patient satisfaction and focus more on “getting the job done.” It leads to a greater chance for errors and, thus, possible decreased quality of patient care! The best way health administrators can combat this is by establishing workshops that address public health policies and community care. Several institutions offer accredited mph programs online to help individuals gain knowledge about the aspects of public healthcare with minimal expenses! As for healthcare workers, this will educate them about responsible patient management, but it will also refine their clinical skills. What’s even better is that all of this can be achieved online without compromising your work schedule.
What Are the Leading Causes of Medical Malpractices?
Most medical catastrophes are unintentional. However, evidence shows that many medical errors mainly stem from delays or failures in reporting critical incidents on time. At the same time, delays may be a consequence of carelessness, proof that a doctor’s work burden or poor necessary thinking skills play a role. Moreover, failure to establish good communication can be causative of medical malpractices too. If patients lack confidence in their attending nurses, they will subconsciously keep their symptoms and concerns under the wraps.
Impact of Malpractice On Healthcare Workers
The biggest problem with the increase in medical malpractice cases for healthcare professionals is the tendency to adopt practices like defensive medicine. Defensive decision-making or “defensive medicine” refers to the act of physicians prescribing diagnostic tests or treatments that aren’t always necessary for the patient. In fact, according to a study carried out by Jonathan Thomas, 79% of physicians admit that they order unnecessary tests for their patients. Another 76% of physicians admit that their concerns about legal trials harm their ability to provide adequate patient care.
Overall, these implications abhor patient-physician relationships and cause patients to avoid seeking medical advice. What’s even worse is that it could cause patients to make their own decisions which could be seriously detrimental to their lives. Nevertheless, defensive medicine may protect against potential litigation, but it nullifies the medical code of ethics. Ultimately, medical decisions are not made in the patient’s best interest but rather to save the workers.
Despite precautions, there can be instances where a lawsuit gets filed against a healthcare professional. This unfortunate event can put the individual at risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety. It also causes them to question their knowledge and undermine their proficiency. The dread of having one’s license revoked might also lead to paranoia. There are also reports of substance abuse. However, these are fewer than 2%.
Impact of Malpractice On Patients
The adverse effects of malpractice on a patient are very evident. The wrong medical treatment can cause a multitude of problems for the patient. It can cause permanent disabilities that strip them off of their quality of life. It can cause them to suffer from psychological trauma and contemplate suicide as well. Something as mere as prescribing an unnecessary surgery can significantly deprive the patient of their financial resources. What you consider a doctor’s fee maybe someone’s life savings!
Speaking of finances, rising incidences of medical malpractice are also the primary cause of escalating healthcare costs. On the one hand, you have professionals that prescribe you unnecessary tests. On the other, you have insurance companies that are constantly increasing the values of installments as well. Likewise, there are also insurance companies that cover the costs of potential litigations against doctors and nurses. They, too, offer expensive packages per specialty and region. Therefore, causing the doctor fees to spike as well. To better manage their resources, healthcare professionals also tend to migrate to regions where premium costs are lower, thus depriving patients of access to doctors. Moreover, premiums’ costs also lead to newer graduates favoring one discipline over the other areas of the discipline. It causes a shortage of doctors in certain fields and a surplus in another, impacting patient accessibility.
To summarize, the impact of medical malpractices on both patients and workers is indeed apparent. The subject features a wide variety of implications, from rising costs of standard healthcare to choosing medical specialties. A constructive method to avoid this is for patients to consider consulting for second opinions. As for workers, the best way administrators can prevent the risk is by inculcating better training that caters to patient care instead of monetary risks.