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Reasons medical errors impact 20 percent of Americans

A September 27th report, released by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in conjunction with the National Patient Safety Foundation, shows that 20 percent of all Americans have been medical error victims. A survey of just over 2,500 randomly chosen respondents also showed that even for those who haven't been directly affected by a medical error incident, nearly one-third reported having known someone who has been.

When probed for more information regarding the circumstances surrounding their personal experiences with medical errors, most respondents described their injury as a diagnostic error. A significant number of respondents also disclosed that the errors occurred in their physician's office or in an urgent care facility or emergency room.

As for reasons the medical errors are believed to have occurred, at least 69 percent of respondents noted that they believed their health care provider failed to be detail-oriented. In at least 58 percent of cases, they noted that their physician appeared to have inferior training to others.

Another 50 percent of respondents conceded that they believed that their medical providers were either fatigued, stressed or overworked. In 47 percent of all cases, patients noted that their medical errors were caused by poor cross-communication between providers. In fact, in 17 percent of all reported instances of medical error, physicians were even unaware that their patient had been seen by another health care provider.

A reported 22 percent of respondents noted that they believe the medical error could have been avoided had they been able to review their own medical records. In 15 percent of all cases, the patient reported that an error could have been avoided by simply spending a little extra time with them.

Finally, 12 percent of respondents reported medical errors occurred because doctor's failed to take proper measures to sanitize their hands or cover their faces prior to or during procedures.

If you believe that your medical condition went long undiagnosed or worsened due to inattentive or inadequate health care, then a Chicago medical malpractice attorney can provide guidance in your case.

Source: Fierce Healthcare, "1 in 5 Americans have experienced a medical error, new survey finds," Ilene MacDonald, accessed Nov. 02, 2017

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