Administrative Demands on Doctors Cause Mistakes
A growing body of evidence strongly suggests hospital and healthcare organization
administrative personnel cause
medical malpractice to occur.
A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, published in
JAMA Internal Medicine, reports that almost half of all U S physicians
believe excessive workloads impair patient safety and cause medical errors.
The 506 hospital survey assessed the impact of heavy workloads on patient
safety and care quality. The median age of the doctors surveyed was 38;
they earned an average of $180,000 per year.
Excess Demands Lead to Mistakes
The Johns Hopkins study reveals that 40 percent of doctors believe the
number of patient contacts demanded exceeds safe levels at least monthly
and 36% said this excess demand is a weekly problem. One in 20 doctors
surveyed said heavy workload may have caused at least one death over the
year. The study also reported that annually about 98,000 people die in
hospitals due to preventable medical errors.
The authors’ of the study said: "Excessively increasing the
workload may lead to suboptimal care and less direct patient care time,
which may paradoxically increase, rather than decrease costs." The
study also notes:
"Hospitalists frequently reported that excess workload prevented them
from fully discussing treatment options, caused delay inpatient admissions
and/or discharges, and worsened patient satisfaction. Over 20 percent
reported that their average workload likely contributed to patient transfers,
morbidity, or even mortality."
What does this mean?
Our lawyers believe a key problem is health care management. Instead of
limiting testing by encouraging communication that might conserve and
focus resources, the current management model escalates testing and procedures
and minimizes thinking, collaborating, and evaluating patient circumstances.
Professional judgment is not valued appropriately. Clients with diagnosis
malpractice and misdiagnosis issues, wrong medications, delays in care
within the hospital, and infections, are likely to pose issues about medical
Diagnosis is sometimes complex. It requires time to think. There is no
billing method for time to think. In fact, the billings codes are for
consultations and procedures, not for diagnosis. Yet the diagnosis is
the key to making the system work. Cutting hours and disincentivizing
quality performance are all concerns about patient safety. This causes
botched tests, mixed up medications, miscounts, rote charting that does
not reflect actual facts, and a sense of indifference. Doctors and nurses
become health care providers because they want to make people well.
Medical administrators become administrators because they want to make
money and build empires. Lawyers can help make sure administrators do
not trump lawyers. At Domina Law Group, we think a part of malpractice
claim investigation often includes consideration of the role of administrative
Contacting an Omaha Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Increasingly, it is important to consider whether the management paradigm
for the healthcare organization where a physician is employed is the real
culprit causing patient harm. The law needs to recognize medical administration
malpractice as a cause of patient harm. Lawyers are urged to consider
this problem as a way to help clients who suffer the effects of substandard