10 most common healthcare provider errors that cause patient harm

Mistakes happen. Most mistakes can easily be corrected. However, when your healthcare provider makes an error, it can mean life or death. If you or a loved one has experienced any of the following common mistakes while receiving medical care, you need to contact a New York medical malpractice attorney right away.

Medication Errors

Giving the wrong medication or too much or too little medicine can lead to serious adverse side effects. Nearly five percent of hospitalized patients are affected by negative drug events, making it one of the most common inpatient errors. In fact, medication errors will occur in roughly half of all surgeries.

Diagnostic Errors

A diagnostic error means that a medical professional has missed or delayed a diagnosis related to your health condition. This type of error results in up to 17 percent of all adverse events in the hospital and approximately 10 percent of patient deaths.

Discharge Practices

In some situations, discharging a patient too early can lead to patient harm. A study done in the early 2000s indicated that almost 20 percent of patients undergo an adverse event that affects their health within three weeks of discharge. These events could have been from premature release, failure to follow instructions, or other issues.

Facility Safety

The hospital facility itself can sometimes put patients at risk. For example, building maintenance can result in harm to patients. It could be something simple, such as a divot in the floor that causes a nurse to lose control of a gurney. Or, it could be something more egregious like a sewage backup or other sanitation problem.

Workplace Safety

Experts argue that it is difficult to provide patients with a safe environment with the hospital workers are not safe themselves. Injuries lifting patients are commonplace, which means that workers are sometimes unwilling to help patients for fear of injuring themselves. This type of mentality can undermine patient care.

Sanitation Problems

Instruments and tools should be sanitized thoroughly before use. However, when medical staff gets busy, they can become careless. Failure to adequately sanitize tools and equipment can spread sicknesses and cause infections.

Carelessness or Inattention

Simple carelessness can cause serious patient harm in some situations. Failing to note vital information on medical charts or failing to read those medical charts thoroughly can often result in diagnosis problems, medication errors, and treatment problems. Unfortunately, medical professionals are sometimes so overworked or understaffed that inattention can become a very serious issue.

Failure to Take Immediate Action

Sometimes not acting at all is just as detrimental as taking an incorrect action. When medical professionals ignore symptoms or problems, serious adverse health issues can occur. This type of situation sometimes happens when medical professionals do not take their patient’s complaints seriously or disregard important symptom information.

Communication Errors

A hospital is a team environment. Medical professionals rely on each other to obtain information. When vital data about you or your conditions is not shared with others, that can also result in severe errors that can have long-term negative effects.

Surgical Errors

Errors that occur during surgery are prevalent. In fact, researchers from one study found that 47 percent of adverse medical events were associated with an operation. While these included follow up care as well, errors while the surgery is occurring are common and hazardous.

Medical malpractice is far more common than you may think. If you have suffered through a medical error, contact our medical malpractice lawyers today to discuss your potential legal claim.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.