Doctors and other medical professionals understand well how a patient complaint can quickly spiral out of control. Patient complaints may result in numerous negative consequences, administrative hearings, discipline, revocation of licenses and medical malpractice lawsuits. Such factors are not entirely out of the control of a physician, and the key may be in avoiding complaints altogether.
Cancer is one diagnosis most everyone fears. From the day one learns of the illness, it becomes a fight for life, including surgeries, medications and treatments that take their toll in an effort to heal. However, doctors in New York may now find it riskier to treat cancer patients following changes in the law that may increase the need for medical malpractice defense.
It is not accident or illness that account for the largest percentage of trips to the hospital; it is childbirth. Each year, almost four million women visit U.S. hospitals to have their babies, and most of these births are uneventful. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health agencies are noticing that the number of women who suffer complications during and after childbirth is on the rise in New York and across the country. Medical professionals are in the crosshairs when these parents blame misdiagnoses and negligence as the causes of their complications.
When people in New York think of medical malpractice, their first thought may be of doctors, especially surgeons. While the media may emphasize the frequency of physicians, plastic surgeons and anesthesiologists who are accused of errors and oversights that cause injury to their patients, another group of medical professionals is also at risk of such claims. The number of nurses accused of medical malpractice is climbing.
Medical errors are a great concern, and some studies show that the rate of such incidents may be on the rise. While many mistakes are caught and corrected quickly before harm is done, some patients suffer terrible injuries or even lose their lives from problems following a medical procedure. In some cases, the injury could have been prevented through proper protocol, but in many situations, New York doctors could not have foreseen the complications. However, a new study shows that injured patients have very simple demands following such mistakes.
Whether a patient is seen in a New York doctor's office or in the emergency room, a single complaint may lead to a battery of tests, each one designed to rule out potential causes of the ailment. The patient may leave the facility with a prescription or even an appointment for a surgical procedure to treat the complaint. However, a recent study shows that many doctors overtreat their patients because they are afraid of being sued for malpractice.
While the media brings national attention to the growing problem of prescription drug addiction, doctors are increasingly in the crosshairs for prescribing opioids and painkillers. Facing administrative hearings and malpractice lawsuits, physicians in New York and across the country who prescribe such medications for their suffering patients risk standing accused of misconduct if those patients abuse or divert the drugs. One doctor in another state is currently facing disciplinary action and legal consequences for allegedly prescribing painkillers inappropriately.
It is true that patients expect and deserve the best efforts of medical providers when they are ill or injured. However, those same medical professionals also may need some protection of their own when it comes to allegations of malpractice. New York providers may face allegations of substandard care when a patient suffers from an unexpected complication or poor recovery.
The information age has changed many aspects of life -- including health care. However, while advances in technology are used to increase efficiency, they can lead to physicians facing a medical malpractice claim if one is not vigilant in the use of technology at all times. Some medical providers in New York are already facing claims based upon problems with patients' records.
Those who choose to practice medicine provide an invaluable service to others. However, this occupation is not without its risks, and medical professionals may find themselves facing a malpractice suit whenever a patient's outcome was not what was expected. Some New York health care providers may currently be facing this difficult situation.