Communication Errors That Can Cause a Malpractice Lawsuit

In many malpractice claims, you can trace the origin of the harm to miscommunication between staff and patients. Many communication errors can cause a malpractice lawsuit, from inaccurate documentation to communication delays between staff. We explain these miscommunications and how they can result in patient harm below.

Inaccurate or Illegible Documentation

Documentation is one of the most critical factors in patient care, including medical history, treatment plans, and updated patient status. Inaccuracies or illegible documentation could cause significant harm to the patient. A result could be that a nurse administered twice the medicine their patient needed or they read the prescription incorrectly and administered the wrong medication.

It’s an old joke that medical professionals have bad handwriting, but legibility is a significant concern. Illegible handwriting can lead to miscommunication between staff, with the patient suffering the consequences. A patient’s chart must be accurate and legible to ensure they receive the best treatment from all staff.

Failure To Update All Staff Regarding the Patient’s Condition

Another communication error that can cause a malpractice lawsuit is the failure to update all staff on the patient’s condition. This error is another instance where missing or inaccurate documentation can lead to patient harm and, therefore, a malpractice claim.

Everyone involved in a patient’s treatment, from the primary physician to the nurses, must constantly communicate about their patient’s condition. Every staff member must be aware so everyone is on the same page and working with the most up-to-date information if there’s a change in the patient’s condition, for better or worse. Delays in communication can lead to precious minutes lost that result in patient harm.

Failure To Review Medical Records

Many medical malpractice claims result from staff not reviewing a patient’s medical records before prescribing medication or administering a treatment plan. Without reviewing a patient’s medical records closely, a doctor may accidentally prescribe a medication the patient is allergic to or has a history of harmful side effects.

Reviewing medical records can be tedious and time-consuming, but it’s essential to superior patient care and all medical staff should review them thoroughly.

Where To Get Malpractice Insurance

As you can see, a simple communication error can cause lasting damage to a patient and result in a malpractice lawsuit in many ways. Baxter & Associates specializes in CRNA malpractice insurance and more for many medical professionals in need of malpractice insurance. Contact our staff for a quote on a new malpractice insurance policy today.