Risks patients may face outside of hospitals

According to a report published by the ECRI Institute, patients in New Jersey and elsewhere are more likely to seek medical interventions in ambulatory care facilities. However, there may be risks for those who choose to seek care in a doctor’s office or outpatient center instead of at a hospital. One of those risks is diagnostic testing errors, which may make it harder for a patient to get treatment in a timely manner.

Medication errors were one of the common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits, and a study found that 42% of cases involved those who worked at ambulatory care locations. Common errors included giving medication to the wrong patient as well as failing to monitor a patient. Those who work in the health care field may face an elevated risk of workplace violence. In some cases, this means dealing with verbal abuse from patients or those who accompany a patient to an appointment.

Falls are another event that could result in a patient being sent to the hospital. At a minimum, falling can worsen a patient’s condition and result in additional treatment in an ambulatory setting. According to the ECRI report, falls were most likely to occur at a doctor’s office. Ideally, staff members will be trained to identify those who may be at the highest risk for falling.

A failure to diagnose a medical condition may rise to the level of medical malpractice. This may be true if a medical professional had the tools and experience necessary to make a diagnosis in a timely manner. Injured victims may also need to prove that an improper diagnose resulted in financial losses or a reduced quality of life. An attorney may be able to help a person pursue a lawsuit or negotiate a settlement outside of court.

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