How Can Medical Malpractice Be Prevented?

Part of the tragedy of medical malpractice is that the serious physical, emotional and financial consequences to the patient, and the patient’s family, could have been avoided.  By definition, medical malpractice occurs when a hospital (or other medical entity) or a doctor (or other medical professional) fails to exercise reasonable care and a patient is harmed as a result.

Common types of medical malpractice include surgery mistakes, post surgery complications, post surgery infection and other forms of negligence.  Many common types of medical malpractice such as bowel perforation after colonoscopy, wrong site surgery, spinal surgery complications, and other mistakes that result in injury can be prevented.  Below are some of the ways in which medical professionals, hospitals, clinics, patients, and their families can avoid the serious consequences of medical malpractice.

  • Systems of Safeguards: a combination of computerized and human safeguards can help prevent serious medical malpractice mistakes.  Most hospitals have in place systems that require doctors, nurses, and others to take certain steps to ensure that no mistake has been made.  This includes a checklist immediately prior to surgery to ensure that the right patient is receiving the right operation.

In order for safeguards to be effective, they must be used. A doctor or hospital may be able to prevent medical malpractice by adhering to proper procedures.

  • Training and Experience: Proper training with regard to system safeguards and practical experience treating patients may also help prevent medical malpractice.  Of course, it is important for doctors, nurses and others to remember that a patient’s life is at stake and not to become complacent with experience.
  • Improved Communication: As a patient it is important to ask questions, or to have a trusted friend or relative with you to act as your advocate.  The more information that your doctor provides to you, and the more information that you ask for, the less likely your doctor is to make a mistake.  Do not be shy.  You are not responsible for your doctor’s actions, but you will bear the consequences of malpractice.  Therefore, it is important to be an active participant in your own care.

As a society, we can teach doctors and hospitals how to use safeguards, we can mandate training and education, and we can ask questions and be active participants in our own care.  Research indicates that these things may lower the number of medical malpractice injuries, but they are unlikely to eliminate them.  The prevention of medical malpractice injuries ultimately rests with each doctor and with each hospital.

Contact a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyer if Your Injury Wasn’t Prevented

If you have been injured by medical negligence, or if you have lost a loved one, malpractice lawyers in PA are committed to helping you recover.  Ostroff Injury Law and Anapol Schwartz are experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice firms with long histories of helping medical malpractice victims, and their families, recover for the physical, emotional and financial damages they suffered due to medical negligence in Pennsylvania.  Contact us today at 866-737-4556 or via our online contact form for more information about your rights.