When you arrive at the hospital for treatment, you assume that you’ll stay there until you’re sent home. In reality, however, it’s common to visit multiple hospitals in succession or eventually transition to a rehab setting. Though often necessary, transferring hospitals can be a tricky process to navigate.
Hospital transfers can be cumbersome not only from a physical standpoint, but also, because medical data must change hands on several occasions. Each transfer holds an opportunity for lost information at a time in which you may be unable to properly advocate for yourself. The following are among the most noteworthy risks to accompany such transitions:
Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment
Every hospital transfer means working with new staff members, who may not be familiar with your current medical concerns. Rather than start from square one, these professionals should be able to rely on clear and concise records obtained from your previous hospital visit.
If important records are lost in transit, valuable time may be wasted gathering information that should have been available. This is hugely problematic during emergency situations in which even a few short minutes can have a major impact on health outcomes.
In the midst of transferring hospitals, you may struggle to recall when you last took certain medications or followed specific treatment protocol. Health care records should provide this information on your behalf, but if they’re lost along the way, medication errors could ensue. In such situations, you may be vulnerable to taking too much of a particular drug or being prescribed a medication that interacts poorly with already administered substances.
If notes from your last hospital visit are unavailable, staff members may not know how you responded to certain medications. They may waste their time on drug treatments that don’t work — or those that prompt significant side effects.
Negligence related to medical data can cause significant harm, but you have legal options. Learn more about this facet of medical malpractice by contacting Regan Zambri Long PLLC today.