What Causes 4 out of 5 Adverse Medical Events?

According to the Joint Commission 4 out of 5 adverse medical events are due to communication problems when a patient is handed off to another medical provider, such as at the end of a hospital shift or when a patient is transferred from the emergency room to an inpatient hospitalization.

With thousands of such hand offs happening in many hospitals every day, it is important to improve communication to prevent future errors.  So far a team studying this problem has decided that the following steps would help safeguard patients during hand offs:

  • Standardize critical content,
  • Computerize what you can,
  • Allow opportunity to ask questions,
  • Reinforce quality and measurement and
  • Educate and coach those taking over with the patient.

If you have been hurt, or a loved one has been killed, because of poor communication during a medical hand off then you may be entitled to damages.  Contact a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer for more information about your rights.