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Hospital administrators can help prevent misdiagnoses

Misdiagnosis is a big problem in hospitals in Ohio and across the United States. A recent study found that one in every 20 patients is misdiagnosed each year. This calculates to 12 million misdiagnosed Americans. The number of patients who die from being misdiagnosed equals the amount who die from breast cancer each year.

Luckily, hospital administrators can do a lot to prevent misdiagnoses at their facilities. Studies show many medical errors occur due to poor communication between doctors, medical staff and patients. Fostering an environment that encourages staff to speak up without fear of reprisals can help prevent many mistakes. Taking the time to listen to staff and patient feedback on hospital procedures can also identify problems before they cause harm.

Hospital administrators should encourage doctors to improve their people skills by offering training and advice. Doctors who communicate well with patients and staff have better patient outcomes. Administrators should also urge patients to understand their medical history and discuss their medical records with their doctors during each hospital visit. This could help prevent patient ID errors and other medical mistakes. Finally, hospitals should embrace new technologies and make sure doctors and hospital staff are fully trained to use them.

A patient who suffers harm from misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis may benefit from discussing their case with an attorney. After reviewing the details of the case, legal counsel may advise filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent doctor and hospital for damages. If a family loses a loved one to medical negligence, they may have grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. Possible damages in such a lawsuit could include burial costs, loss of income and loss of companionship.

Source: Ground Report, "This Is How Hospital Administrators Can Prevent Misdiagnosis," Sept. 3, 2016

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