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Medical Administration Malpractice

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 administration concerns.

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 medical mismanagement.

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 medical care.

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