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Identity mistakes are a common form of medical error

Doctor mistakes can cause serious problems, especially in a hospital setting. You might think that these errors are few and far between. Unfortunately, as we’ve discussed in previous posts, medical errors occur more frequently than people might realize. At DeLuca & Weizenbaum, Ltd., we are prepared to help Rhode Island residents find justice if a doctor error caused harm.

Many hospital mistakes are the result of patient misidentification, according to STAT. What does this mean? Simply put, a medical identification error could occur if you are mistaken for another patient, or if your medical records are switched with others. For example, two Rhode Island hospital patients who had the same name were mistaken for each other. One man received the bill for the other patient’s emergency room visit.

Medical misidentification can range from billing errors to patients receiving the wrong medication or having the wrong type of surgery. Not surprisingly, some of these identification mistakes can lead to a life-threatening situation.

Statistics show that misidentifications occur in about 8 percent of cases. Is there any way to avoid this problem? Some in the medical field recommend that all Americans join a universal patient identification system. While some people worry that this could open the door to identity theft, Britain and other countries have successfully implemented such a system. Having a national identification system so you don’t have your records misfiled or switched for someone else with your name could help prevent serious repercussions. Learn more about common medical mistakes by visiting our hospital error page.

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