Stories about botched operations or other flagrant mistakes in a hospital or clinical setting are common.
Performance errors are a significant reason for medical malpractice claims according to a health organization affiliated with Duke University. These sorts of technical errors can lead to poor outcomes for a patient. Sometimes, the patient may die unexpectedly.
However, although they tend to grab headlines, performance problems are not the only cause of medical malpractice claims.
Another major culprit behind medical malpractice suits against physicians is the doctor’s poor decision-making. What people can describe as a failure in “clinical judgment” contributes to well over half of all lawsuits.
Good clinical judgment is a must in all almost all a doctor’s professional activities. Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and failures to gather necessary information are all examples of lapses in this critical judgment.
In the hospital setting, failing to observe the patient or releasing the patient too early are also examples of poor clinical judgment.
Communication breakdowns either between the patient and the doctor or among the medical providers also frequently contribute to medical malpractice claims.
Incomplete or incorrect charting and documentation also lead to lawsuits that frequently end in that patient receiving compensation.
Although it might not be as obvious, patients and their families are also more likely to file malpractice claims if they get the sense that their doctor dropped them after a bad outcome or after the patient complained about their care.
Sometimes, a sincere apology and a good effort to make things right goes a long way for a patient and their loved ones.
Doctors have to own their decisions
Chicago-area residents should do their part to communicate with their physicians and to educate themselves about their options.
However, in Illinois, medical professionals bear ultimate responsibility for their decisions. Physicians must take reasonable care that everyone on the team, including the patient, has the information necessary to ensure an effective treatment.
When Illinois doctors fail in these obligations, victims can obtain compensation for their losses.