Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Communication Errors

Nearly one third of all medical malpractice cases can be directly linked to communication errors, according to a recent study conducted by CRICO Strategies, a division of the risk management group that insures Harvard-affiliated hospitals. The findings were based on analysis of more than 23,000 medical malpractice claims and lawsuits filed between 2009 and 2013. During that time, communication failures in hospitals and doctors’ officers contributed to the harm of 7,149 patients, including 1,744 deaths. The estimated cost to providers was $1.7 billion in medical malpractice payouts to injured victims and their families.

There are several ways in which important medical information is shared and a breakdown in any one area can have devastating consequences. Whether shared face-to-face, over the phone or via a patient’s medical record, the information must be timely, accurate and accessible. When information is unreliable or not communicated effectively, there is a significantly higher chance that a medical mistake will cause serious harm to a patient.

Good communication among health care providers is key to preventing medical errors. This is especially true in a hospital setting because of the many individuals who may be involved in a patient’s care. According to the study, more than half (57%) of the medical malpractice cases were the result of a miscommunication between two or more health care providers. Patients were most vulnerable to communication mistakes when being transferred from one caregiver to another. Common ways in which communication can breakdown between providers include:

  • Miscommunication regarding the patient’s condition
  • Poor documentation
  • Failure to read the medical record

While communication between medical professionals is important, it is also essential for doctors to properly communicate with patients. According to the study, 55% of the claims stemmed from miscommunication between providers and patients. The most common reasons included:

  • Inadequate informed consent
  • Poor response to patient complaint
  • Inadequate education regarding medications
  • Incomplete follow-up instructions
  • No or wrong results given to patient
  • Miscommunication due to language barrier

Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight For Those Harmed by Medical Negligence

If you believe that someone you love has been the victim of a medical mistake that resulted in serious harm or death, contact LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. Our experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers have the resources to uncover the true cause of the injury and the skill to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to arrange your free case review. A qualified member of our legal team is available to take your call 24 hours a day.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of medical malpractice throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Marylands Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.