When a patient visits a healthcare provider for medical care, he or she trusts that the professional is educated in their field and has experience providing treatment. What he or she may not consider, however, is that healthcare provider burnout could put them at risk for injuries caused by medical malpractice.
Healthcare burnout can include physical and emotional exhaustion, including feelings of detachment, negativity towards others and feelings of diminished accomplishments. It may also display as depression in some cases.
While burnout can be prevalent among physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and registered nurses can also suffer from burnout. Individuals who are burned out may be more likely to make medical errors that result in a lawsuit.
Medical errors can be caused by diagnostic mistakes, communication breakdowns when patients are transferred from one department to another, testing errors and other preventable issues. It is estimated that 250,000 people or more a year pass away from medical mistakes.
It is especially important to be aware of errors that can happen when patients leave the hospital, like when healthcare providers prescribe medication to patients to take at home that may have potentially dangerous interactions with other drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter. Medication errors can cause significant negative effects like abnormal heart rhythms, bleeding, seizures, kidney damage and death.
Patients can help to protect themselves by bringing a friend or family member with them to address issues and ask questions if they are unable to. Even with these precautionary measures, however, healthcare providers have an obligation to keep their patients safe.
An experienced attorney can answer questions about medical malpractice and pursue compensation on the injured person’s behalf.