Maryland ER Medical Malpractice: In and Out in 30 Minutes or Less Could Be Deadly

Broken Bones. Chest Pains. Open wounds that need stitches. In 2011, nearly 130 million Americans visited emergency rooms across the country for any number of reasons, seeking to get the emergency medical care they needed. All too often though, the goal is to get “in and out” as quickly as possible, in an effort to avoid long waiting rooms lines and expensive medical costs.

But in reality, these speedy ER visits may actually be the cause of medical negligence in Maryland or Virginia and throughout the country. Recent studies conducted at various teaching hospitals nationwide have shown evidence that medical interns today are spending fewer minutes with their patients than in year passed. The breakdown actually shows that, over the last 20 years, face-to-face patient care has decreased down to an average of a mere eight minutes per patient in most cases.

One goal of these rushed doctor-patient exams may be to increase medical efficiency in overcrowded hospital emergency rooms. But they also come with a terrible price for some patients, and can even have long-term, harmful effects on physicians, too. When a doctor-patient relationship is compromised, important medical information, which may only be gathered through seemingly “non-related” conversations, can be lost. In many cases, these conversations allow doctors to gain critical medical insight into a patient’s lifestyle, habits, and living environment that can provide clues to a person’s medical condition.

Patient Health Risks From Rushed Medical Exams may include:
  • Increased risk of medical prescription errors
  • Negative patient outcomes like medical misdiagnosis, complications during recovery, improper medical treatments, and other patient injuries.
  • Decreased patient satisfaction

With patient interactions lasting less than 10 minutes in many cases, patients are not the only ones who can suffer. Medical residents may fail to gain vital experience and knowledge from short and concise medical exams.

Long-Term Risks of Rushed Medical Exams for Medical Residents may include:
  • Gaining vital experience with patient care during medical training period. This can affect their long-term “bedside manner” habits and patient-care techniques throughout the course of their medical practice.
  • Failing to gain experience and knowledge about the subtle signs and symptoms of many illnesses, injuries, or hard-to-diagnose diseases.

Americans put their trust and assurance that their doctors have their best interest at heart, and that their physicians will do everything possible to help them get well. When that reasonable standard of care is violated, those responsible should be held accountable.

For nearly 50 years, the medical malpractice attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins have been committed to serving victims of medical negligence in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and are available to speak to about your medical injury claims. Call 202-296-0666 today to arrange your free, no-hassle consultation.

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