The effects that a patient suffers from when surgical errors are made can be quite severe. Some patients experience complications such as infections or a worsened condition while others must deal with additional surgeries, unsightly scarring or even permanent damage to limbs and organs. When a routine surgery takes a turn for the worse in a Providence hospital, it can take patients months or even years to fully recover, if they recover at all.
When you don't feel well, you go to see a doctor, believing that they will be able to help you. However, this is not always the case for some Providence residents and for people in other parts of the country. The number of people who suffer because of a wrong diagnosis indicates that this is a growing problem, bringing up the question of why it is so easy for a doctor to get it wrong. After all, there is modern technology and a vast amount of information now available. Is the misdiagnosis problem tied to deeper issues?
Some of the most popular shows on television have been about young doctors working as interns in a hospital setting. However, the shows often glamorize a job that is grueling and challenging. In reality, interns at Providence hospitals are expected to work long hours with little sleep, avoid making medical errors and provide the best quality of care to their patients. As more attention is being placed on delayed diagnosis, medication errors, and the increasing number of risks to patients, some wonder if the traditional intern program is really effective.
Millions of people are without health insurance but new federal laws are designed to provide health coverage to everyone. As a result, this means that doctors and surgeons in Providence will likely be busier than ever before, and with the rise of patient numbers, comes a higher risk of surgical errors being made. One of the most common errors that can occur with negligent operating staff is leaving surgical sponges and other items inside the body.
Patients generally have a lot of trust and faith in their doctor's skills, and when they are the victims of medical errors, they can be devastated. What sometimes adds insult to injury is the fact that they fail to receive a simple apology from the doctor or some other form of sympathy. While spoken words will not fix a physician error that has caused the patient pain and further suffering, it can help the patient feel reassured that the doctor is a caring professional.
Every day, more and more healthcare providers and institutions in Rhode Island and throughout the U.S. are using electronic systems for record keeping. While many praise the implementation of electronic records, some say that the potential of widespread prescription mistakes is increased. The wrong code selected or a number typed wrong could result in a patient receiving the wrong drug or an incorrect dosage of a drug. A problem in the software itself could multiply this problem, issuing the wrong dosage to every patient on that drug who is in the system.
When we look at history, it is easy to point out that the lack of education in hygiene and proper medical procedures contributed to many deaths. During the Civil War, thousands of soldiers died because doctors had little knowledge about infections and fevers. However, today we have a vast amount of information and have made significant breakthroughs when it comes to caring for the sick. Yet the number of doctor errors being made seems to indicate that something is still missing.
For Providence residents who have little contact with the healthcare providers outside their regular doctor, it can be difficult to select a surgeon or other medical specialist. Undoubtedly they have questions regarding a surgeon's success rate, the quality of their work, and the number of surgical errors that professional has made. For the answers they turn to the person that they trust the most, which is usually their doctor or nurse.
Every day, hundreds of surgeries are performed on patients. While most procedures run smoothly, some patients are not quite so lucky. For any Providence residents who have been the victim of a surgeon mistake, the effects can be life changing. Some patients have developed a blood infection, some struggle with simple movement in one of their arms or legs, and some patients have even died. The sad truth is that some surgical errors can easily be avoided if the surgeon, or the surgical staff, had taken an extra moment to double check the patient and what is required.
Even in a world of advanced medicine, doctors are still found to make mistakes and act negligently toward their patients. While patients generally believe that these kinds of doctors will be prevented from practicing medicine, all too often, unqualified doctors in Rhode Island and in other states are allowed to continue to care for patients. The suspension of a doctor's license lies with a licensing board that may be reluctant to take action.