When Do Doctors Make More Medical Errors?

Medical errors are a serious issue in our country. They are the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, which is why the healthcare industry is trying to reduce these errors. However, a new study may be refocusing that effort as it exposes when doctors are more likely to make a life-threatening mistake. When Are Doctors Most Likely to Make a Medical Error? For many years, the healthcare industry has been trying to reduce medical errors by changing the environment in facilities. These efforts have included the use of checklists, expansions of technology and equalizing hierarchies between…

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How the Graying of the Baby Boom Generation Will Strain Our Health Care Infrastructure

Millennials may be poised to overtake Baby Boomers in terms of population. Even as they age, however, the Boomers’ influence cannot be denied. This is unfortunately most true in terms of health care, with many Boomers beginning to suffer the chronic and acute health conditions that naturally accompany old age. The health care industry is poorly equipped to take on increases in Boomer visits — and the increase in the condition severity underlying such visits. Below, we highlight a few of the ways in which the graying of the Baby Boomer generation is already starting to strain the health care…

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How to Know Whether Your Hospital Is Great, Bad, or Somewhere In Between

United States hospitals vary dramatically in quality. Some maintain an exceptional standard of care, while others exhibit shocking negligence on a daily basis. Don’t assume that your hospital is the former. The following suggestions will help you determine whether you should continue with the status quo or find a new facility: Take Advantage of Hospital Ratings Numerous scales are available to help you determine how your hospital stacks up compared to other options. Each rating scale holds different criteria; examine several to get a well-rounded take on your hospital. Top options include: Leapfrog Medicare’s Hospital Compare Hospital Safety Grade Hospital…

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Doctors And Nurses Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol: Part 2

Substance abuse is a shocking epidemic in the health care industry — and it places both patients and professionals at risk. In the previous blog from this two-part series, we examined the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse among doctors and nurses. Now, we’ll take a closer look at how these substances impact vulnerable patients: Increased Risk of Surgical Errors Perhaps the scariest implications of substance abuse on the job involve surgery. This niche requires exceptional precision; even slight impairment could lead to devastating outcomes. While medical professionals have been known to successfully perform surgery under the influence (with some…

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Doctors And Nurses Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol: Part 1

It’s no secret that rates of drug and alcohol abuse are alarmingly high among doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. But while we typically think of health care workers as indulging in harmful coping mechanisms exclusively at home, these substances appear to have an increased presence in the workplace. Read on to discover just how prevalent substance abuse is in health care settings: Drug And Alcohol Issues Are Shockingly Common The stressful nature of health care work drives many professionals to seek solace in drugs or alcohol. Hence, the concerning results of a University of Washington study, which revealed that…

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How Conflicts Between Nurses And Doctors May Place You at Risk

Conflict pervades nearly every workplace imaginable. In some offices, it’s simply annoying. In the health care industry, however, it can prove lethal. Unfortunately, such conflicts are far more common than most patients suspect. Below, we explain why these conflicts occur and how they can lead to negative health care outcomes: How Conflicts Play Out — And Why Conflicts between medical professionals typically involve health care workers with different job titles. For example, doctors may disagree with nurses, or nurses may butt heads with nursing assistants. These conflicts involve an inherent imbalance of power, in which one party holds far greater…

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The Pareto Principle in Medicine: Why Just a Few Doctors Are Responsible for Most Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice is far too common. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States. But while many patients fall victim to negligence in the healthcare industry, most medical professionals abide by an impressive standard of care. The exceptions, however, cause horrific suffering. The Pareto principle may explain this apparent discrepancy, as we demonstrate below: What Is the Pareto Principle? How Does it Apply to Medical Malpractice? A common concept in everything from sales to HR, the Pareto principle states that 80 percent of the results in…

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3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs more often than you might think. Every year in the United States there are about 250,000 deaths each year due to medical malpractice. This does not include the many people injured by medical errors and neglect each year. It is important that you make an attempt to protect yourself against harm from medical malpractice. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself. Get a Second Opinion If a treatment seems too extreme or you’re not sure of a diagnosis, it is a good idea to get a second opinion from another doctor. Getting a second opinion…

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Is Today’s Culture of Surgery Putting Patients at Risk?

Surgery is a notoriously difficult medical specialty, and for good reason; the high-stakes nature of the job makes it inherently stressful. Perhaps this explains why surgeons suffer so many mental health issues and are so likely to turn to substance abuse in an effort to cope. Burnout is especially high among surgeons, many of whom simply cannot handle the pressure of the job. But is the job description alone to blame? Or could a negative work culture be making an already difficult position that much worse? We examine these concerns in detail below: Mistreatment Among Surgical Residents An anonymous letter…

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Common Mistakes Hospital Administrators Make — And How They Can Affect You

Hospital administrators are responsible for keeping facilities running seamlessly. It’s not an easy job — opportunities for errors abound. Unfortunately, these errors can prove deadly for vulnerable patients, who depend on the skill of hospital administrators as much as they do on nurses and doctors. Detailed below are among the most common — and deadly — hospital administrator mistakes: Hiring Decisions Often, hospital administrators are responsible for overseeing facility personnel. This may mean making final decisions regarding hiring or employee termination. Those who fail to vet new employees appropriately place patients at risk of being cared for by incompetent workers….

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