A hospital’s emergency room is where people go when they require immediate medical care. They cannot wait for an appointment with their primary care physician because their condition puts them at immediate risk. They have pain or other concern symptoms that they need to address and may require admission to the hospital and emergency treatment.
Unfortunately, those who go to the emergency room for care don’t always receive the support they deserve. Millions of people experience diagnostic errors in emergency rooms every year. What causes the high error rate in emergency rooms?
Hospital workers under stress can make mistakes
Several factors contribute to the rate of diagnostic errors in emergency rooms. The need to engage in triage practices or make snap judgments about people’s condition is one issue. The busier an emergency room is, the more likely workers are to make mistakes when determining who needs care most urgently.
Additionally, communication issues often contribute to diagnostic failures. Patients experiencing pain or feeling high levels of stress may not properly communicate their condition to emergency room workers. They might share details with one employee that they do not share with another, leading to a lack of information that could impact the diagnostic process.
Overworked and distracted emergency room employees may also fail to make note of key details in a patient’s chart, which could contribute to diagnostic errors later. When workers at an ER make major mistakes, the patients seeking treatment may not receive the care that they need.
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit could be one way to recoup losses caused by mistakes in the emergency room.