Healthcare professionals have a duty to provide patients with proper treatment. And teamwork is an essential element of good care. All doctors and hospital staff members must work in concert to ensure their patients’ safety and well-being. And this means that they must constantly keep the lines of communication open among themselves. To do otherwise can yield serious or even fatal results.
A report produced by patient safety experts revealed that there are a number of possible types of communication errors that can lead to patient injuries. Some of the most common problems are:
- Failure to properly examine a patient’s medical record.
- Poor documentation.
- Miscommunication regarding the condition of a patient.
And while sometimes communication errors occur due to a lack of understanding between parties, this is not always the case. The report states that communication errors can also occur because information is ignored, never retrieved, never received, misdirected or not recorded.
There are a variety of issues that can contribute to communication breakdowns, including distractions, electronic health record problems, workplace culture and workload pressure. But these are all the kinds of issues that should be addressed at a hospital’s managerial level.
A hospital that has flawed policies and procedures can create communication issues for doctors and staff. And doctors and staff should follow proper procedures to reduce the chance of errors caused by miscommunication.
If you or a loved one was injured due to communication issues on behalf of the healthcare providers at a hospital, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. To find out if this is the case, you may want to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney.