Communication is key in any profession. It is essential in the medical industry. If communication errors occur in a hospital or other medical setting, it can lead to disastrous and deadly consequences. For example, when an error in communication leads to the failure to diagnose a patient, that patient might have the basis for a medical malpractice claim.
Errors in communication can happen anywhere along the chain of command in the medical profession. The most common occurrences of errors in communication include the following:
- Failure to read pathology reports
- Failure to inform the patient of their test results
- Failure to communicate with a secondary care provider
- Failure to read a patient’s chart completely
- Failure of a surgeon to provide a patient with enough informed consent
- Failure of one hospital department to converse with another
- Issues with communication during patient transport
The above list is not exhaustive. There are plenty of other ways communication errors occur in the medical field that can lead to failure to diagnose. If a doctor fails to read a chart correctly or does not relay test results to a patient, it can lead to tragic circumstances.
You should always ask questions when visiting the doctor, no matter the reason for your visit. If the visit is for something serious, it’s a good idea to bring a family member or friend with you to take notes.
Failure to diagnose is a serious problem that affects patients of doctors and other medical professionals in just about every field. When a patient is not diagnosed correctly, he or she could suffer serious injuries or their disease could progress quicker, leading to an incurable situation or even death.