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Call To Schedule An Initial Consultation

COVID-19 UPDATE: To protect our employees, their families, and the community, Montgomery Law Firm will remain virtually open during the current situation. We will remain accessible by telephone, email, and video conference. We will continue to represent our clients and review new cases.

Malpractice-claim study raises issues with patient assessments

| Apr 13, 2020 | Medical malpractice

The most common first step taken toward resolving a health issue is visiting a medical facility to obtain a diagnosis. When a health care practitioner’s negligence causes an error or a misdiagnosis, however, a patient could suffer devastating harm.

Examining a patient generally requires a medical professional to ask several questions and obtain detailed information regarding the symptoms. New patients may require a longer examination so that a practitioner can construct a thorough understanding of a patient’s previous medical history. A rushed or lax assessment could lead to an incorrect diagnosis.

Inadequate assessments contribute to incorrect diagnoses

A malpractice insurer conducted a study on claims filed against nurses and physician assistants. The study found that nearly 50% of the practitioners faced lawsuits alleging inadequate health assessments.

As reported by Business Insurance, a lack of a proper medical assessment resulted in a delayed or a failed diagnosis. The reasons for a misdiagnosis included the practitioner’s skills, documentation problems or poor communication.

An improper diagnosis may cause a practitioner to prescribe the wrong medication or perform an unnecessary treatment. When a patient suffers bodily harm or injury as a result, he or she may require further medical attention. Visiting another practitioner may then serve to uncover any errors or mistakes made by the previous one.

Communication problems result in poor examinations

A lack of communication between a patient and his or her medical practitioner could result in a faulty examination. According to the study, 22% of claims filed against physician assistants and 25% of claims against nurse practitioners noted that they failed to adequately communicate a patient’s condition. Allegedly, some health care practitioners did not read a patient’s medical report.

While patients may prefer to forgo a series of tests, a medical practitioner owes a duty of care to order all necessary tests and assessments before diagnosing an illness or condition. Failing to advise a patient regarding the importance of a testing process may result in a lackluster physical examination and a subsequent misdiagnosis. A legal action may provide a harmed patient with compensation to recover damages from unnecessary treatment or procedures.

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