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Medical error as a leading cause of death

Individual medical needs can range greatly, and errors can occur at various points in a patient's treatment. New York residents might be surprised to learn that diagnosis is the point at which a deadly error is most likely. Furthermore, the majority of these mistakes do not occur in hospitals but rather in a doctor's office. This is one of several major areas that contribute to medical error being third highest as a cause of death in the nation.

Doctor errors connected to a diagnosis can range from missing cues for a disease to over-diagnosing. This may seem surprising in light of the increasing technologies and information available. Consulting with colleagues can be an important strategy for minimizing the risk of error. Electronic records could improve statistics in terms of medical errors, but systems that are not interoperable prevent important sharing of information that could head off issues such as diagnostic mistakes.

Infections are not always taken as seriously as is warranted, which can lead to major complications or death. Such instances can range from missing a diagnosis of an aggressive bacteria to carelessness in hygiene while treating a patient diagnosed with a serious infection. Increased attention and meticulous protocols could reduce infection-related deaths. Involvement of pharmacists during rounds might help as physicians consider medications needed to address their patients' conditions. More structure in changes of location or staff for a patient could also ensure better attentiveness that would ideally reduce negative outcomes. Consistent reporting is another crucial need for improving statistics related to medical errors.

A medical malpractice lawsuit might be warranted if there is evidence of a provider's careless approach to treatment. However, it can be important to clarify the nature of an alleged error as well as the failures of a medical facility or provider in causing an injury or death. Legal guidance can be helpful in this regard.

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