Medical Errors Can Be Reduced with Improved Patient-Provider Communication

Posted in: Medical Malpractice | Feb 10,2019

Image result for medical malpracticeThe risk of dangerous and possible life-threatening medical errors can be reduced through greater and more stable forms of communication between patient families and health care providers. Those results come from the findings of a new study conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital.

In the study, researchers developed an intervention system that was specifically designed to increase and enhance channels of communication between clinicians and families. As part of the intervention, clinicians stood beside patient beds and specifically asked them about their doubts or concerns. They then gave a concise summary of the patient’s treatment and progress in plain language that the patient and his family were able to understand. The providers then asked the families to repeat the care plan to confirm that they understood it fully.

The researchers then implemented this communication program across seven hospitals between December 2014 and Jan 2017.  They found that there was a 37 percent drop in the rate of adverse medical errors that occurred during this time. There was no significant drop in the overall rate of medical errors, but there was a drop in the incidence of harmful medical errors that are likely to leave patients with long- term effects. Family communication levels and effectiveness of treatment were also enhanced as a result of this program.

With better communication, hospitals may be able to enhance the quality of care and safety of the patient.

There are other ways that better communication and involvement of patient families can help enhance the quality of patient care and reduce the risk of medical errors. Families must ensure that providers are aware of the patient’s medical history, especially any medications that or she has been on. This is especially important in cases where patients are not able to communicate properly as a result of their condition. Families are also encouraged to ask questions of providers about their loved one’s condition as well as the treatment plan. If you have concerns or questions, ask the provider for an explanation.  Informed patients are often safer patients.

The Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller are dedicated to the representation of persons  injured as a result of medical negligence across Indiana. If your loved one has suffered injuries as a result of the medical negligence of a healthcare provider, discuss your case with a medical malpractice attorney at our firm.  You may qualify for damages that include medical expenses, lost income and diminished earning capacity.