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Why is medical malpractice such a common issue for patients?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

When you go to a doctor because you have unusual symptoms or you seek care in a hospital because of a traumatic accident, you expect that receiving medical attention will improve your condition, not worsen it.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a rampant issue in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people suffer injury and even death in any given year because of mistakes made by medical professionals. Why is medical malpractice such a serious issue for patients in the United States?

Medical professionals are just human after all

Even the best-trained and smartest doctor can make a mistake after a long shift. People working in medical practices will do their best to provide patients with a good standard of care, but mistakes do happen. People can forget important information, mix up medications or even improperly use medical devices in a way that could lead to patient injury.

The profit motive affects the standard of care that patients receive

Most modern physicians work for a corporate practice, which means that they are an employee. Just like anyone else working for a company, they are subject to expectations regarding the number of patients they see or the number of procedures they perform.

Intense work demands mean that your doctor likely won’t have much time or attention to give to you because they have to cram so many people in every day. That increases your risk of misdiagnosis. As if that weren’t bad enough, many medical offices and hospitals pass off important jobs to technicians and aides instead of nurses and physicians so that they can pay less in wages for the care people receive.

For example, instead of having a pharmacist compound medication for intravenous administration, a pharmacy technician with minimal training might be the one measuring and mixing possibly fatal drugs.

Malpractice claims hold individuals and businesses accountable

The desire for profit should never negatively impact the standard of patient care at a facility. When it does, taking action that negatively impacts facility profits may be a way to incentivize better adherence to best practices in the future.

Filing a medical malpractice claim can help you cover costs you’ve incurred because of a medical mistake, like additional medical care expenses or lost wages, while simultaneously reminding the facility and employer about the importance of prioritizing patient care over profit margin.