As Arizona residents may know, 200,000 patients die annually because of preventable medical error. There is an effort underway to change that, but its success is often a casualty of traditional attitudes. A study published in 2005 elaborated on interactions between health care workers and documented that a layer of silence prevents mistakes from coming to light.
Preventable errors in hospitals can unfortunately take lives and cost a lot of money, but methods designed by health care quality experts were used when compiling a report that indicates that there was a 17 percent decline in certain mistakes from 2010 to 2013. According to data from hospital medical records and other sources, the report concludes that around 50,000 fewer patients died because of the decline in preventable errors like drug mistakes, bed sores and infections.
Doctors in Arizona and other states have slowly started acknowledging errors in patient care and admitting fault. While doctors may have previously been hesitant to discuss medical errors due to a fear of litigation or embarrassment, doctors in a 2006 survey said that patients deserved information when a mistake occurs.
The Arizona Medical Board categorizes the complaints they receive into four different groups. The moral and ethical category includes sexual misconduct with a patient, fraudulent billing, violating prescribing statutes and the like. Legal errors include complaints that violate the law but do not necessarily endanger patients. Most doctor errors known to the board fall under standard of care, and substance abuse, psychiatric impairment and behavioral disorders fall into the fourth category.
Studies about incorrect medical diagnoses show that doctors can make mistakes about life-threatening conditions, and one study indicated that 12 million or more misdiagnoses may occur every year. The Internet Journal of Family Practice conducted an analysis of autopsy findings and malpractice data to determine the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases. While this list is not likely to solve any mysterious medical problems Arizona residents are suffering from, it highlights the need for getting opinions from multiple doctors.
Medication errors can cause serious complications and even death. Despite the devastating impact of medication mistakes, they continue to happen in hospitals across the country.
An alleged victim of doctor errors has initiated a legal action relating to her injuries. The woman claims that doctors made a mistake in diagnosing her condition, which led to the inflammation of her brain and other injuries. The lawsuit says that doctors did not successfully identify that she was suffering from herpes simplex encephalitis. The condition is a rare form of brain inflammation related to the same virus that results in cold sores.
When you think you're sick, do you go online to look up your symptoms to see what medical condition you may have? Many people in Arizona use Wikipedia and other websites to check their symptoms. While this is a common behavior by patients, it may surprise many people to learn that many doctors also use Wikipedia to help diagnose patients.