Researchers published a new study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology finding that doctors who fail to properly communicate test results to patients are at a much greater risk for medical malpractice lawsuits. The study found that malpractice payouts linked to communication failures jumped from almost $22 million in 1991, to $91 million in 2009. It is this lack of communication that prevents the patient from learning the risks, benefits, and alternatives to their treatment.
But is also creates more frustrated patients when your physician is not providing you the information you need in your condition. Moreover, it closes the line of communication when other symptoms might develop and create other problems. For example, in one case a client was misdiagnosed with viral meningitis-a serious but treatable condition. However, other symptoms manifested themselves and it turns out he was actually suffering from fungal meningitis-a much more serious and very fatal disease, particularly when there is even a SLIGHT delay in treatment.
This is something that I hate to see. One of the simplest, albeit potentially frustrating experiences, is for the doctor to just talk to the patient. Whether it is about the current state of the patient's health, test results from a treatment, or what to do next to further treat the patient, a doctor needs to relay this information to the patient. Particularly when it is a very serious condition and the likelihood of something to go wrong if great, a doctor should be the most vocal with his patients.
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.