Have you been injured by an overworked doctor? If you have, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury, but it will not be easy to prove. It will require the help of a personal injury attorney.
That doctors are being overworked is a fact that is admitted to by doctors. A recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University revealed that 40% of doctors in hospitals say that at least once a month they take on more patients than they can safely care for. 36% of these doctors said that this happens more that one time each week.
The study talked to around 500 doctors who manage patients’ care in hospitals. Around 25% of these doctors said that their high workload kept them from fully talking about treatment options with patients. 22% of these hospital-based doctors said that they at times ordered tests that were not needed due to the fat that they did not have sufficient time to examine the patients’ cases.
There is an even more frightening fact that doctors have admitted to. In an article in “Medical News Today,” 5% of doctors said that there workload may have resulted in the death of a patient within the past year.
Another alarming fact is that it is not only hospital doctors who are overworked, your primary care doctor may be an overworked doctor. Many primary care doctors are stressed from working long and hard hours. One doctor said, “I always felt rushed. I always felt I was cutting my patients off.”
What has caused this growing problem. Several reasons have been given.
One of the reasons for the problem of the overworked doctor is that taking care of patients takes considerably longer and requires more staff because of regulatory changes in insurance companies and Medicare.
Your primary care doctor may be an overworked doctor because of lower pay and longer working hours. Doctors are seeing the same number of patients, but the non-face time work for each patient is exploding.
Whether it is a primary care physician or a hospital-based doctor, an overworked doctor may jeopardize the safety of a patient. Hospital doctors say that their heavy workload contributed to adverse effects on patients, which include:
Medication or treatment errors (7%)
Delays in discharging or admitting patients (22%)
Incident reports being filed (6%)
Morbidity or other complications in patients (7%)
Failure to quickly note, follow up on, or act on critical test results (10%)
Patient death (5%).
The bottom line is that an overworked doctor is a risk to patient safety. The study mentioned earlier suggests that hospitals ought to evaluate doctor workloads and set up standards for patient safety. While the hours that doctors-in-training and residents may work are limited, there are no limits on the hours that doctors known as attending physicians may work.
Again, if you believe that you have been injured by an overworked doctor, this is regarded as medical malpractice, and you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Contact a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.
Article written by James Shugart
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