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Malpractice Could Be Minimized With Use of Checklists

On many occasions we have discussed the staggering cost of malpractice both on patient lives and healthcare costs. Estimates suggest that each year nearly 98,000 people die and around $55 billion is spent because medical mistakes. The toll has led many experts to spend time and effort working to better understand why the errors are made and what can be done to prevent them.

One of the easiest but most effective ways to provide better care involves the use of medical checklists. Reuters recently discussed new research which highlighted the benefits. The latest data indicates that almost a third of all malpractice claims would be eliminated if checklists were used in all cases. The improvement would specifically be seen in surgeries, as the vast majority of mistakes actually occur during those operations.

The checklists include reminders of obvious but occasionally overlooked processes that are vital to proper care. They list simple acts like proper scheduling, ensuring equipment availability, marking the correct operating location, and similar actions so that the professionals ensure that nothing is overlooked.

A surgeon who has written often on the issue explained, “This kind of evidence indicates that surgeons who do not use one of these checklists are endangering patients.”

It is tragic when patient lives are destroyed by the simple omissions and mistakes of medical professionals. Our Chicago malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti have worked with countless victims who have suffered because their doctors failed in the most basic tasks, from missing a diagnosis to forgetting to conduct routine tests. All professionals should be open to using checklists to ensure that these mistakes are caught and lives are saved. If your or a loved one have had care fall below that standard, get in touch with a Chicago malpractice lawyer to seek redress.

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