Identifying Medical Errors

December 9, 2012

The Yale Journal of Medicine and Law stated “by definition, a medical error is failure to execute a plan or execution of a wrong plan.  Common preventable adverse events include drug-dose errors, surgical injuries, transfusion errors, and wrong site surgeries.”    A study published by the University of Washington in 2006 found that physicians are unwilling to fully disclose errors when they are made.

The Washington University Study found that “although 85% of physicians surveyed considered an error serious only 63% would definitely disclose the error.”   A legal nurse consultant is familiar with physician documentation and can often see what is missing from a physician’s care notes indicating that a potential error might have occurred that was not disclosed.  The legal nurse consultant can advise the attorney what documents to request in discovery that will often reveal data that is missing from the physician notes.  This may be data that tips the scales in the client’s favor and leads to a settlement offer much sooner.

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