When you have a doctor’s appointment, you should feel confident and safe with the care you receive. Nothing makes you lose faith in a care provider quite as much as watching them scroll on their phone or scroll mindlessly on their computer while you’re talking about your medical issues. Distracted doctoring is a growing issue in every area of medical care, and in some cases, it leads to devastating outcomes for patients.
If you’ve been affected by a distracted healthcare provider, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. Learn more now by calling Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman at 866-565-4949.
An Overview of Distracted Doctoring
A wide range of factors has made the rise in distracted doctoring nearly inevitable. The number of people graduating from medical schools is not rising as quickly as it needs to. The elderly population, a demographic that has extraordinary healthcare needs, grows every day.
Doctors are under more and more pressure from executives and others with business experience but no healthcare experience. In addition to caring for patients, they have to focus on patient satisfaction and customer service, extensive charting requirements, and continuing education.
Distracted doctoring can present in a number of ways. To start, electronic charting is the norm in healthcare facilities across the country. In order to stay on top of their tasks, many doctors chart while they are face-to-face with patients. This may cause them to miss important information that would change their diagnostic test recommendations or treatment plans.
Doctors may even be distracted while providing treatment. Malpractice cases that have caught the attention of the media focus on doctors distracted by their phones while monitoring a patient under anesthesia, administering the wrong dose or the wrong medication while paying attention to something else, and failing to verify that they were operating on the correct part of the body.
How Distractions Can Lead to Malpractice
In some cases, distracted doctoring is just an annoyance. While it reduces the quality of your care and your experience as a patient, it doesn’t lead to any measurable damages. In others, it causes serious or permanent damage that forever changes a patient’s life. Some of the worst outcomes of distracted doctoring include:
- Giving the wrong medication, the wrong amount of medication, or the wrong administration method.
- Prescribing a medication that conflicts with other prescriptions a patient is taking.
- Missing key symptoms that would guide them to a patient’s proper diagnosis.
- Recommending treatment that doesn’t fit a patient’s limitations or needs.
- Failing to check a patient’s medical records fully before beginning treatment.
- Missing key changes in vital signs or other measurements.
- Leaving gloves, sponges, or other surgical equipment in a patient.
- Performing surgery on the wrong body part.
A Decrease in Patient Satisfaction
This is obviously a serious issue for patient safety and health outcomes. Missing key metrics can lead to misdiagnoses, missed diagnoses, ineffective treatment, and treatment that puts patients in danger. Beyond that, though, it also weakens the doctor-patient relationship and the public’s view of physicians.
For patients to receive effective medical care, they must be able to communicate openly and clearly with their care providers. For them to be comfortable communicating that way, they must trust that their care providers will listen to them.
Distracted doctoring can make patients feel like their doctors won’t listen to their input, often leading to a decrease in communication and leaving patients wary of seeking care even when they need it. There are movements within the medical industry to improve the patient experience, strengthen the connection between care providers and patients, and ensure that doctors have enough time to spend on each patient’s care.
In the meantime, it’s crucial that you advocate for yourself if you receive inadequate care. Know that you can always seek a second opinion and, if necessary, the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney.
Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice? Call Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman
If a doctor’s subpar care has left you or a loved one injured and in need of additional care, you may be able to seek compensation with a medical malpractice claim. Our team is here to help you. Call Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman at 866-565-4949 or reach out to our team online to schedule your consultation now.