Never take the cases in the emergency rooms lightly.
A small negligence on the part of the medical team can result in the worst possible condition of the patient. Most of these errors occur because the doctors fail to receive proper clinical information and history of the patient coming in. Not paying head to the symptoms and medical condition of the patient may cause not ordering a required test, which in turn may lead to an incorrect diagnosis and an early discharge.
Following are a few tips that will help you in minimizing the possibility of performing an emergency room error:
1. Avoid first-impression or intuition-based diagnoses:
It is unwise to assume the condition of the patient based on personal observation or intuition. Whatever the symptoms may appear to you, always go for one or more tests before giving a final verdict on the diagnosis of the patient.
2. Stay alert on the symptoms:
There is no space for any sort of carelessness in the emergency room. You and your team must stay at high-alert on all the symptoms that the patient is showing. Each symptom will provide you with the type of test that needs to be performed on the patient.
3. Avoid Hand-offs:
It is not a good idea to hand off the patient in an emergency room. Even if you really have to leave then be sure that you have effectively communicated all information to the next physician or hospitalist. Give a brief account on patient’s condition until now and don’t forget to inform him about any pending tests.
4. Keep a check on any retained foreign body in a wound:
Before closing a wound, visualize it carefully for any piece of glass or any other foreign body that may result cause uneasiness or problem for the patient.
5. Psychiatric concerns of the patient:
Pay attention as you might be treating a potential suicidal patient. Have a complete look at the medical history of the patient and check for any suicide attempt, drug or alcohol addiction, or any other psychiatric condition.
6. Be aware of prescription medication addiction:
Patients suffering from chronic pain must be given painkillers under an agreement in order to avoid excessive intake of the drug by them. Chronic use of any drug can result in the death of the patient. Also, doctors must be very careful about medical interactions of different drugs before prescribing them to the patients.
7. Document patient’s history:
Note down all the treatment that the patient is undergoing. Keep a record of all the tests and it will be helpful for future reference if any serious condition arises.
8. Follow-up instructions:
Before handing over, provide the next physician with all the required follow-up instructions.
9. Include the family of the patient:
Keep the family members of the patient updated about the on-going condition of the patient.
10. Work with EHR system:
For easy access to the patients’ information document all his history in an EHR system. Also, provide with any possible complication or issue that might have a strong influence on your patient.
Dr. Michael Gleeson from drgleesonlaw.com is an expert on the topic with all the necessary information being on his fingertips. If you or any of your loved one have been mishandled by the emergency room of any hospital then, be sure to contact Dr. Gleeson for all the legal information that you may require in order to take an action against the hospital and its staff.
Dr. Michael F. Gleeson, Esq.