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Communication Failures in Hospitals – Are your Doctors Communicating with One Another?

Posted on: May 4th, 2016 by Romanucci & Blandin

A recent comparative benchmarking report put out by CRICO Strategies examined over 7,000 cases in which facts, figures, or findings got lost between the individuals who had that information and those who needed it across the spectrum of health care services and settings. Entitled Malpractice Risks in Communication Failures, the report shines a light on the who, what, when, and where of miscommunication in hospitals. The findings were alarming.

The analysts in this study examined clinical and legal records in 23,658 malpractice cases from 2009 to 2013. They then identified more than 7,000 cases where communication failures, either among medical staff or between medical staff and patients, harmed patients. Of the cases examined, miscommunication was a factor in at least 30%. That’s $1.7 billion in malpractice costs and nearly 2,000 patient deaths that could have been avoided.

Furthermore, the miscommunication among medical staff while transferring patients contributed to 80 percent of serious medical errors. If patients cannot trust medical staff, where do they turn?

While some medical providers are trying to make improvements, those efforts are not spreading quickly enough throughout the health care system. At Romanucci & Blandin we meet with family’s each week who have endured injuries and losses at the expense of doctors and hospitals. This must stop now.

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