You may have noticed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a primary care physician in Providence County these days. Why is that? Information shared by the Center for Health Journalism of the University of Southern California shows that American medical schools churn out an average of 20,000 graduates a year. So why can’t you seem to find one of these new doctors?
When Providence County residents think about the hospitals and healthcare clinics in the region, they likely hold a certain degree of respect for the resources these facilities offer and the service provided by those working in them. However, even the most respected hospitals with the most decorated staffs may not be immune to mistakes. Some may argue that a single error here or there should not be used to damage a healthcare facility’s reputation. At the same time, failing to report such incidents and to attempt to hold the providers responsible for them accountable could be end up perpetuating the problem of a single facility producing an alarming error rate.
As you are sitting in an examination room in a Providence County clinic waiting to be seen by a doctor, you likely assume that the reason for any delay in your receiving treatment is at least partly because the physician is reviewing your medical record. Yet have you ever wondered what information is contained in your records, and how far the doctors examining them go to get the information needed to deliver quality care?
When you choose a primary care physician in Providence County and then follow his or her recommended schedule of preventative treatments and visits, the expectation may be that you will be able to avoid certain illnesses and conditions. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than with your obstetrics and gynecology provider. Starting in your teens, you typically begin the necessary-yet-sometimes-uncomfortable process of receiving a routine pap smear. The purpose of this checkup is to help you avoid conditions such as cervical cancer. Yet as some of the women that we here at DeLuca and Weizenbaum have worked with in past may attest to, cervical cancer screenings are not infallible.
People in Providence County may place a great deal of trust in their healthcare providers. The expectation that comes with that is that their doctors and other caregivers will reciprocate that trust. However, information that has begun to emerge from within the medical industry in recent seems to cast doubt on that idea. Many healthcare practitioners today admit to feeling pressure to side with their colleagues when allegations of medical malpractice arise. Studies have even shown that providers may be reluctant to share information with patients about errors in their treatment. Some may say that these accusations and alleged admissions may only be given under the condition of anonymity, and thus are not verifiable. That is not the case anymore.
Heart disease has proven to be the top cause of death among men and women in America. Yet despite the lack of gender bias that this condition seems to observe, women in Providence County may be more likely to die from it than men. This may be due to the fact that, according to information shared by AARP, Inc., if you are a woman, then you may be seven times more likely to have your symptoms misdiagnosed than a man. Some point to the notion that many may still subscribe to that heart disease is a man’s condition. Indeed, much of the early research into diagnosing the signs and symptoms of heart disease and heart attacks was conducted primarily with men.
It may not be uncommon to hear people in and around Providence County speaking a language other than English. Given the diverse mix of ethnicities in the U.S., you may assume that most providers of professional services, including healthcare, understand the need to be able to communicate in a different language. However, research data seems to show that when language differences exist between doctors and patients, there may be a significant risk of vital information being “lost in translation.” As we at DeLuca and Weizenbaum LTD can confirm, the results of poor communication in healthcare can be devastating.
LASIK has become a common elective surgical procedure in Providence County and throughout the U.S. in recent years. Countless people may see it as a way to correct near-and farsightedness and astigmatism. However, like all surgical procedures, it is not without its risks. Proponents of LASIK may champion it largely due to its low error rate, which, according to WedMD, is estimated to be between 2 and 5 percent. Unfortunately, if you happen to fall into that demographic, the results of your LASIK errors can be devastating.
Oftentimes, people in Providence will gladly defer to the expertise of their doctors when making medical decisions. However, patients still must be given the opportunity to have the final say in what procedures and treatments that they do and do not consent to. Should a doctor make the decision for them, then that provider may be taking the accountability for the outcome of a procedure out of their hands and placing it squarely on his or her shoulders.
Rhode Island residents naturally want to understand the scary and potentially dangerous world of medical malpractice. Nobody wants to become the victim of a medical error or to have their family member suffer from a preventable mistake made by a health care provider. A study led by Boston Children’s Hospital took a look at how communication between physicians may impact errors. The results were quite interesting.