Some medical conditions can be missed until they cause such severe symptoms that they lead to a visit to a North Carolina emergency room. Heart failure is such a disease, often diagnosed in emergency situations. However, electronic health records may be used in the future to predict this and many other conditions through the use of artificial intelligence.
The electronic monitoring systems hospitals in North Carolina and around the country use to detect mistakes when doctors prescribe medication for patients may not be doing their job as well as people in the health care field might have originally thought. Facilities are having problems with their computerized prescription drug systems that could be failing to detect doctor error in prescribing harmful dosages or drug combinations.
Many North Carolina residents are caregivers for their elderly parents. When a parent takes several different medications, making certain that all of the doctors and other health care professionals are on the same page is very important. Errors are much more likely to occur when the medical professionals in a parent's life are unaware of medications others have prescribed or when the communication is inadequate.
Hospitalists are a fairly new addition to the medical profession. They are individuals who generally perform the same duties as primary care physicians or family doctors, but in a hospital setting. Although board certification in hospital medicine only started in 2009, there are already a large number of hospitalists practicing. According to information from the The Society of Hospital Medicine, there were already about 44,000 practicing hospitalists in 2014.
Parents in North Carolina who have children in the hospital may want to speak up if they suspect that there has been a medical error. According to a study conducted at a hospital in Boston, parents of hospitalized children often notice medical errors that doctors miss. The lead author of the study stated that when parents provide information to pediatric doctors, it helps to keep children safer while they are hospitalized.
A study that has been published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes indicates that women with anxiety may end up having signs of heart disease ignored. This is because many of the symptoms overlap, so a physician may be more likely to attribute things like heart palpitations and chest discomfort to anxiety rather than signs of a heart problem.
North Carolina residents trust their pharmacists to correctly fill their prescriptions. However, medication errors still take place. Whenever a pharmacist fills a patient's prescription with the incorrect medication, the wrong amount of pills or gives the wrong dosage directions, grave harm could take place.
Nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities don't have a very good reputation. Most of these kinds of operations in North Carolina don't deserve the taint of such negative connotations. The care that is delivered to the most vulnerable members of our communities is usually high and care facilities seek to do the best they can.
Failing to correctly diagnose a patient who visits an emergency room with ominous symptoms is a commonly reported medical negligence claim in North Carolina and nationwide. This may be particularly true when the patient appears at the emergency room more than once in a short timespan, complaining of a worsening condition. In one such case in another state recently, a jury returned a verdict of $10.1 million in favor of a mother and her son for failure to diagnose the son's meningitis.
Errors committed by negligent doctors can be difficult to spot and hard to prove as being cases of medical malpractice. One reason that's true is that the mistake happens while the patient is under sedation. Other times, as we noted in a post last month, it's just a matter of poor communication.