If you are not feeling well, you go to a healthcare provider. This could be to your primary care provider, such as that office’s doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. You may also go to urgent care for treatment of more serious and complicated matters, but not an emergency. Lastly, you may go to the hospital emergency department for more serious medical emergencies.
In either situation, you will have a healthcare professional review your complaints and symptoms. You will end up going through diagnostic tests such as simple physical examinations to more complicated tests such as blood tests or imaging studies. Some of these tests will require you to change departments or hands.
For instance, if you are having an imaging study, you will go to that department such as radiology or imaging. This department will work with you to perform the imaging study ordered by the healthcare provider. That is, the doctor or healthcare professional treating you will review your complaints and his or her evaluation of you, and request an imaging study be performed on you. When this happens, the imaging department will take the request images OR take the images themselves based on what the doctor wants imaged.
Once the imaging is taken, that department will review and put together an impression. That impression will then go to the ordering doctor or healthcare provider along with the imaging. The doctor can then look at the imaging along with his or her evaluation of your symptoms and complaints and make a determination what to do next.
Sounds great, right?
Well that is in a perfect world. And we all know that it is not a perfect world.
There are many holes in this chain which can result in errors. First, nurses and other healthcare professions could give the doctor their own opinion and the doctor could just adopt this and go with it. That is not the right thing to do; nurses are not to formulate opinions or set the course of treatment. Nurses are only permitted to render the treatment and care ordered by doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Thus, this opinion could be wrong and the doctor could make a mistake.
Second, the imaging department could take the images wrong. They could either not listen to the doctor’s order or they could not adequately get the images necessary to demonstrate the condition the patient may have. This causes tow problems. One, the doctor may just acquiesce and accept the images in the wrong format or position which may not help get the diagnose. Two, the doctor may require the images to be taken again which could mean placing the patient at the end of the queue for treatment. This could significantly DELAY treatment, and if the patient is having a serious medical emergency, this could cause permanent injury or death! This could also delay other patients’ treatment.
Third, the imaging department could form the wrong impression. While they are trained to do one task, they are still not medical professionals with the training, experience, and knowledge that a doctor has. However, sometimes doctors just accept the impression by the imaging department without doing an independent review. Other times the imaging department does not actually send the imaging studies to the ordering doctor; this means the doctor cannot even perform the checks. If the imaging department gets it wrong, this can delay treatment or even fail to treat a patient suffering from a medical emergency. These mistakes can result in serious injury and DEATH. This is New York medical malpractice.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.