Boston News recently discussed a little known facet of patient care-the increased risks that come when patients are transferred from one caregiver to another. A new report by a national medical care oversight group, the Joint Commission, spurred the renewed interest in the importance of ensuring orderly, safe, and thorough transfer of care from one doctor to another.
Shockingly, the Commission information suggests that nearly 80% of the most serious medical mistakes are caused by communication problems when patients go from one medical care provider to another. In other words, the original doctor often fails to share important information with the new team. This results in a myriad of medical problems which can and should be prevented.
Even the most basic transfer protocols are often ignored, like ensuring that the new physician has the contact information for the sending doctor.
To help combat the problem, some hospitals are just now taking steps to prevent this egregious breakdown in medical care. The solutions include creating standardizes list of crucial information to transfers, like particular allergies and pending tests. In particular, medical mistake experts are focusing on improvements when patients are transferred from community hospitals to medicine departments and from a nursing home to the emergency room.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti fight for victims of medical mistakes no matter what form they take or what their cause. Our principle is simple: all patients deserve a reasonable standard of care at all times; we will defend their right to that care when violated. It is heartbreaking to consider the lives that have been destroyed simply because one medical team did not explain basic patient information to another. If you may have fallen victim to this mistake, contact a medical malpractice lawyer to learn about your medical rights.