Crain’s Business Today provided a video report this week on a dangerous problem that is putting local medical patients at risk-fatigued nurses and doctors. A Chicago medical malpractice attorney is well aware that at the root of many medical mistakes sits a doctor or nurse who has worked too long and gotten careless. In many professions a slip or a mistake caused by tired eyes is easily fixed. However, there is no room for those errors in the hospital. Unlike other professions, mistakes caused by overworked doctors place the life of another human being at risk.
Unfortunately, a new report issued by the Illinois Better Government Association found that overtime rates for doctors in Cook County were much higher than the nationwide average. The 6.3% overtime pay as a percentage of total pay was also significantly larger than the recommended maximum rate of industry research groups to prevent fatigue and medical mistakes. That recommended rate is only 4.5%.
The bottom line is that doctors and other medical professionals are more likely to be fatigued at Cook County public hospitals and more likely to commit errors.
The cause of the problem likely includes a variety of factors, but none of them are incurable. For example, comparable private hospitals in the area have overtime rates at only 1/3 the level of the public institutions. Clearly it is possible to lower the rates and improve patient safety if proper management and supervision is instituted at the hospitals.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti work each day with the victims of medical errors caused by careless medical professionals. Far too often patients do not survive these mistakes and it is their grieving families that must pick up the pieces and carry on without their loved one. It is vital that administrative steps be taken to cut back on overworked doctors, return an emphasis on patient safety, and ensure future families do not suffer.
If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a careless medical error, be sure to contact an Illinois injury lawyer today.
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