Doctor's Sloppy Handwriting: Are Lives Still At Risk?

 

What Do The Statistics Indicate?

A shocking statistic from the National Academies of Science Institute from 2006 reported that 7,000 people are killed annually from doctor's sloppy handwriting.

The stats also showed that medication mistakes injured more than 1.5 million Americans annually. These statistics show the importance for electronically storing medical notes and records in order to avoid dangerous catastrophes.

Back in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) took effect in efforts to reform and improve healthcare nationwide.

Did this big shift in data creation improve the issue with doctor’s handwriting causing deaths?

WHAT ARE THE CORE ISSUES?

It turns out there are other issues that result from incorrect documentation not just resulting from unreadable handwriting:

  1. Failure to date, time, and sign a medical entry
  2. Lack of documenting omitted mediations and treatments
  3. Incomplete or missing documentation
  4. Adding entries later on
  5. Using subjective data
  6. Not questioning strange order entries
  7. Using wrong abbreviations
  8. Information entered on the wrong chart

Not only this, but the records themselves have been proven to cause errors that negatively affect patients.

IN CONCLUSION

It’s important to note that even though it’s been several years since the EMR Mandate took effect, not all health care facilities fully utilize these new technological systems. Not only that, but lack of proper interoperability between the various systems is still something that needs to be greatly improved. Hospitals are finding it hard to share patient records with other health care facilities that need them. This is important to ensure patient safety especially when new medications are needing to be administered or prescribed to a patient.

If you or someone you know is experiencing an injury or has suffered a loss as a result of a mistake made by a record entry, electronically or not, you may be able to receive compensation. Call our office any time to receive a free consultation. We want to give you the justice you deserve! (903) 526-1600.


The Importance of Medical Error Reporting & Disclosure 

The Importance of Medical Error Reporting & Disclosure

 
When a pilot makes a wrong decision, he has a co-pilot by his side to assist him in correcting it. When a school teacher makes a mistake, she usually has time to realize her mistake and correct it before any harm is done. When a doctor makes an error, they are most likely the only ones who have the ability to correct and sometimes even notice it.

Like it or not, doctors are human and are very capable of making mistakes.

However, unlike most people in the workforce, when they make a mistake it can greatly impact the lives of the individual they are assisting.

According to a study published by the journal Surgery, according to malpractice records, the most common error during surgery was leaving an object inside the patient, which happens around 39 times a week.  Operation on the wrong body part or even the wrong patient occurred around 20 times a week according to their study. Not only that but these numbers were reported to be on the low end of occurrences according to the study conductors.

Doctors are not likely to report their errors, especially if they feel that the patient is not in much danger. Doctors risk legal liability, loss of reputation, loss of privileges and even license revocation. Not only do these reasons keep doctors from reporting their mistakes, but they may also fear to cause the patient unwanted distress.

Here are the top reasons why doctors should report their mistakes.

Deceiving the patient – By not disclosing the error, the doctor is interfering with the patients informed consent. This is because after an error more procedures or medications may be necessary without the patient understanding fully why it is needed.

Causing the patient even more harm – The error itself can very well cause the patient meaningless harm. However, by failing to inform the patient of the error, it could lead to even more damage. The damage may be more emotional than physical, but causing the patient to worry about why they are not recovering as quickly may lead to emotional trauma.

Lack of Justice – The patient deserves to receive the compensation that is owed to them after a terrible mistake in the doctor’s office. If the doctor fails to disclose to them their errors then proper compensation cannot be given to them.

After knowing these facts, it’s hard to see how any case against non-disclosure could ever triumph.  It’s clear that non-disclosure is a deception to the patient and in clear conflict to doctor-patient relationship ethics. Doctors must rise above their human nature and admit if they make a mistake by placing the patient’s welfare above their own self-interest.

If you or someone you know has ever been subject to a mistake made by a doctor or health care physician you could very well be entitled to compensation.  Call our office for a free consultation and we will do our best to win justice for you, (903) 526-1600.


Medical Malpractice Facts

Medical Malpractice – Don’t Be A Victim

Many patients often do not know that they have been victims of medical malpractice. Typically, most people falsely assume that, because the media shows large medical malpractice lawsuits, they are not entitled for pursuing a case against the doctor or hospital. Negligence is one of the biggest issues that does not get pursued and is, unfortunately, one of the most common. Don’t be a victim, learn the facts.

Medical Malpractice Facts:

 

  • According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, it is reported that there have been over 120,000 deaths pertaining to adverse effects of medical treatment.
  • Approximately 2% of those suffering from medical malpractice file claims for compensation.
  • 33% of malpractice claims are because of a wrongful diagnosis.
  • Approximately 23% of medical malpractice cases are due to surgery.
  • 1/3rdof all physicians pay more than $10,000 each year in malpractice insurance premiums.
  • Over 40% of physicians say that their monthly patient volume leads to errors.
  • Medical negligence is the 3rdleading cause of death in the United States.
  • On average, there are 90,000 people who die in the United States each year due to an error in medical diagnosis.

If you have been injured, contact Martin Walker Law to schedule an appointment today.

Sources: Malpractice Center, JAMA, Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Should Doctors Face Drug Tests? Here Are The Facts.

Should Doctors Face Drug Tests? Here Are The Facts.

Most hard working Americans face drugs tests each and every time they step into a new position.
This happens for new pilots, police officers, firefighters, and train operators, but not doctors...
Doctors play one of the most important roles in our country, they have the ability to save lives and prevent pain and suffering in countless others. Why is it then that we don't hold their position up to the same standards as that of an airplane pilot? This topic is not usually brought up in government offices, but for California lawmakers back in 2014, it was on the agenda. California was one of the first states to debate this issue and position themselves to make a change with proposition 46, but it was ultimately defeated.
A 2013 study conducted with the Journal of Addiction Medicine revealed that a whopping 69% of doctors are abusing prescription medications.
Drug companies send doctors free samples of prescription medications on a regular basis. On top of that patients often bring in their unused painkillers for safe disposal.
Here is a helpful list of behavioral signs that could indicate your doctor is abusing drugs.

Signs of addiction from medical professionals

1. Changing jobs frequently.
2. Preferring night shifts because of less supervision and higher access to medication.
3. Sleeping on the job or even in-between shifts.
4. Volunteering to administer narcotics to patients often.
5.  Showing signs of anxiousness about working overtime or extra shifts.
6. Frequent bathroom breaks.
7. Smelling of alcohol or using breath mints or mouthwash excessively.
8. Glassy eyes and small pupils.
9. Errors in paperwork such as charting or reports.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a doctor who is suspected of abusing medications or alcohol, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Call our office for a free consultation and we will do our part to bring justice to your life. Call us at (903) 526-1600.


The Top 6 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

The Top 6 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

It's widely known that serious errors can be made due to negligence under the care of a health care practitioner.
Are you aware of how those errors occur?
This is so important because so many victims do not even know they are victims even after suffering from life-changing injuries or outcomes. Different states have different statute of limitations laws that restrict the amount of time is available to seek justice after the case has occurred. Because of this, we feel the need to provide to you 6 of the most common types of medical malpractice errors to help you stay informed.
✔️Misdiagnosis
If a doctor examines you or a loved one and fails to diagnose the correct illness. This is considered malpractice because it prevents the patient from getting the treatment they need. Malpractice only occurs if the doctor failed to do what any other doctor would have done and this caused harm to the patient.
✔️Delayed Diagnosis
The doctor made an incorrect diagnosis but the patient eventually receives the correct diagnosis. The condition becomes worse because the patient didn't receive the necessary treatment in time.
✔️Failure to Treat
The doctor may diagnose the correct illness but they may fail to recommend the proper treatment.
✔️Surgical Errors
A doctor may perform the wrong procedure, damage organs, nerves or tissue, use non-sterile surgical instruments, or even provide inadequate care after the surgery.
✔️Birth Injury
Birth injuries can possibly result in the death of your child if the child's prenatal care was inadequate or if the child or mother suffers injuries during the birth process.
✔️Medical Product Liability
If a patient suffers needlessly after a poorly designed medical device was used on them for their illness.

Conclusion

This list is not comprehensive however it does a great job of highlighting the most common types of medical malpractice that you need to keep in mind. We also want you to know that not all medical malpractice cases are this black and white and you should always reach out to professionals like us at Martin Walker Law who specializes in Medical Malpractice and all that goes along with it. (903) 526-1600


World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

Today is World Cancer Day, and at Martin Walker Law we would like to use this time to raise awareness about some issues the medical industry creates for those with cancer. World Cancer day is a day to empower the world to show support for those with cancer as well as encourage personal action in everyone to fight for improvement. One way that we would like to participate in this is to raise awareness for when doctors fail to diagnose cancer in their patients. This mistake is more costly than any amount of money because it usually costs someone their life or the life of their loved one. According to recent research from 2016, failure to diagnose properly accounted for 34 percent of all medical malpractice payouts that year. Doctors who fail to perform the required tests for finding cancer in its early stages could very well be engaging in medical malpractice. If a patient is not diagnosed by their doctor early enough it could mean that they will then have to go through a tremendous amount of chemotherapy or other harsh medications in order to combat the disease. If the doctor had successfully diagnosed cancer in the early stages then the patient would have not had to suffer through such harsh of a treatment process.
Other possible outcomes resulting from a failure to diagnose cancer:

  • Shortened estimated life span.
  • Expensive medical procedures may be necessary.
  • The patient passes away in a matter of a few short months.
  • The patient may die weeks after the doctor diagnoses cancer.
  • The patient's cancer could be highly contagious and spread throughout the body at a rapid rate.

This is why it's important for early detection tests to be administered to patients often when they are under their doctors care. Cancer is a very serious illness and should never be discounted when a patient is complaining of symptoms that resemble in any way those of cancer.
The American Cancer Society has some suggestions for avoiding cancer in 2019.

  • Stay away from Tobacco.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.

Many types of cancer are easily treated when diagnosed at an early enough stage. These include breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, and renal-kidney cancer. There is no reason that your doctor should miss the warning signs of cancer and submit you for a screening in time to save your life. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer in the late stages you may be entitled to compensation. Call our office today and we can get to the bottom of your situation and make sure that you get the justice that you deserve with your late cancer diagnosis. (903) 526-1600


Mental Health & Medical Malpractice

Mental Health & Medical Malpractice

It's important that we are always informing East Texans about the many ways medical malpractice can be introduced into their lives. There are many forms of medical malpractice and not all of them result from places you would normally think. For example, did you know that you can be subjected to medical malpractice in your psychiatrist's office? Psychiatrists are doctors that deal with emotional and mental health, and any complications that arise under their care should be taken very seriously. Even though psychiatrists roles are different from that of a general health practitioner or a surgeon, their responsibilities and expectations are very similar. The trust placed into a psychiatrist by their patient is extremely personal and should be dealt with the utmost respect. Any errors or mistakes that they make can create for the patient significant negative situations. We must keep in mind that medical negligence of the mind is just as important as negligence on the physical body.
At Martin Walker Law we want you all to be informed of the many ways that your psychiatrist could cause you mental and emotional harm. Some ways that medical malpractice can be proven in your case is if there was one of the following situations:

  • A misdiagnosis
  • The wrong dose of medicine was prescribed
  • Failing to report that the patient could be a threat to themselves or another person
  • Abuse of power
  • Abuse of the patient's vulnerability
  • Talking about private matters to others that were disclosed in confidence by the patient

Just like any other medical malpractice case, the patient needs to be able to prove that their psychiatrist performed in a negligent manner while they were under their care. This negligence can take on several different forms for the patient:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Cost of future treatment
  • Earning capacity was lost
  • The ability to enjoy life has been lost

It's best to seek out the professional opinion of a trained expert in this area. It can be hard to know for sure if you have a case for medical malpractice, but we know how to help you best. Call us today for a consultation and we won't stop till we win justice in your case. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Let us help you win back the strength you once had so you can get back to living your life to the fullest. Call us today (903) 526-1600


Prescription Errors and the Relation to Medical Malpractice

Medication Errors and the Relation to Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice usually brings to mind errors made during an operation, but prescription errors can also be a result of medical malpractice. When a doctor decides on what medication to prescribe to their patient, it becomes a powerful tool for that person to overcome their illness or disease. One thing to keep in mind is that each person is different and they may have reactions to medications that are unpredictable to even the best doctor. East Texans need to be aware that if they suffer from an adverse side effect from a medication it is possible that you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice.
It's important in these situations to not jump to any conclusion prematurely. There are several things to keep in mind when you are considering the possibility that you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice. You will need to be able to prove some of the things listed below:
1. You were an official patient of the doctor who prescribed the medication
2. The doctor or pharmacist was acting negligently when serving you
3. Injuries were caused to you due to the negligent behavior
4. Damages resulted from the injuries that were caused
Medical Errors can occur if a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist prescribes the wrong dose or even the wrong drug to a patient. However, there are many other errors related to medication that can be caused by these mistakes.
1. The wrong medication was prescribed by the doctor
2. The pharmacist filled the prescription with the wrong medication or drug
3. The wrong dose for the medication was prescribed
4. The pharmacist filled the wrong dose amount of the medication or drug
5. The pharmacist provided the patient with the wrong instructions for the medication
6. The doctor or pharmacist gave medication to the wrong person to whom it was originally intended
7. The wrong drug or combination of drugs was administered to the patient
It can be a difficult process to prove that a professional was acting negligently when they prescribed your medication. This is because when a doctor is prescribing medication they usually focus on the patient's current issues and any relevant medical history, and are very careful. This is why it's important to call skilled lawyers who are experienced in dealing with these types of situations. At Martin Walker Law we know that this situation is capable of causing severe and permanent damage to a person. Don't hesitate to call us and get justice for yourself or your loved one. (903) 526-1600