Patients will encounter many different personalities in the pursuit of medical care. A medical license in New Jersey does not guarantee a compassionate doctor who is ready to listen. While some people are socially awkward or even a little rude, there is a point where a lack of communication skills can result in malpractice.
What is medical malpractice?
The medical profession maintains standards aimed at providing the best chance of successful care. Malpractice happens when a doctor or another medical professional deviates from these standards resulting in injury to a patient. While every medical treatment has risks, a malpractice suit looks at pain, suffering and death caused by poor judgment, negligence or unprofessional behavior.
Errors in patient care are one of the most common causes of death in the United States, resulting in 250,000 deaths each year. Not all errors result in a malpractice claim, but some of the most frequent claims include:
- Surgical errors
- Prescription errors
- Failure to treat
The importance of clear communication
Most malpractice suits stem from mistakes in physical care. However, the way a doctor communicates with patients can also result in medical errors. When a physician makes assumptions about a patient’s condition or fails to notice all their symptoms, it can lead to a misdiagnosis.
An impatient doctor can put undue pressure on a patient who does not fully understand the possible complications of a procedure. When a person feels forced or pressured into a treatment they do not want, poor bedside manner crosses the line into medical malpractice.
Advocating for yourself as a patient
An unexpected hospital stay is a stressful event. It can be easy to forget that you have choices in care. By asking questions and making certain your physician fully understands your needs, you will improve your care and prevent medical mistakes.