Overworked Doctors Contribute to Medical Errors

It is known that catching cancer early can mean the difference between life and death. New Jersey patients rely on doctors and medical professionals to accurately diagnose symptoms for preventing health complications in the future. When radiologists fail to diagnose cancer, they can prevent patients from getting life-saving treatments. Between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice suits are brought against doctors each year and according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer.

Medical malpractice occurs when a health-care provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” in the treatment of a patient from surgeons who leave foreign objects stitched inside patients to even cases such as the Texas doctor who removed a man’s wrong kidney. And according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), radiology is one of the specialties most likely to be the subject of claims of medical negligence, usually stemming from a failure by a radiologist to correctly read and interpret a radiographic.

Regardless of the mistake that occurs, there is one common theme contributing to these errors: overworked doctors. A national study conducted earlier in the year discovered that overworked doctors added to the number of medical malpractice errors, jeopardizing patient safety. According to the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, a survey of 500 physicians practicing in hospitals found that they routinely care for too many patients. About 48% of respondents said they took more patients than they could safely handle at least once a month. Doctors said their workloads kept them from properly discussing all treatment options with their patients. Twenty-two percent reported that they ordered unnecessary tests for patients because they did not have enough time to examine their cases and conditions.

This study shows that a doctor’s workload may, indeed, compromise patient safety. This means that even though doctors have the knowledge and experience to treat a certain condition or properly diagnose a patient, their workload may contribute to fatal medical errors.

You have to be an advocate for your healthcare. You deserve to be compensated for any injuries and damages you incur due to someone else’s mistake. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in NJ because of an unreasonably excessive work schedule, it may be possible to pursue financial compensation for the losses you have sustained. Call Villani & DeLuca P.C. at 732-965-3350 for your free consultation today. We serve New Jersey clients located throughout New Jersey, including Ocean County and Monmouth County.