Menu Contact
The Law Offices of Dan F. Partin

Free Consultations | 24/7 New Client Intake | Home and Hospital Visits

Talk to an attorney
859-359-7390

this is an advertisement

Firm Update: We remain open and are accepting new clients. In response to the threat of COVID-19, we are offering video and telephone consultations. Please call or email our office to discuss your options.

Why patient hand-offs in hospitals can lead to errors

Patients often get transferred between several departments within a hospital or from one health care facility to another during the course of their treatment for an injury or illness. It's not unusual for a person who has been seriously injured in a car crash to go from an emergency department to an intensive care unit (ICU) to surgery to a hospital room and then perhaps to a rehabilitation facility.

That's a lot of hand-offs between medical personnel and a lot of opportunities for communications breakdowns that can endanger a patient's safety. One survey by the Harvard Medical Institutions' Risk Management Foundation found that about 30 percent of U.S. malpractice suits involved communication breakdowns between clinicians and that these failures were responsible for over 1,700 fatalities over five years.

These communication breakdowns can be caused by interruptions, lag time, confusion and lack of face-to-face communication. They're at least twice as likely when medical professionals in different disciplines are communicating with each other.

One health care commission was so concerned about the communication failures during patient hand-offs that it published an alert several years ago with a set of actions for both senders and receivers of information to follow. Interestingly, despite all of the technological advancements in communication, one of their recommendations was to communicate in person in a quiet area free of disruptions.

Another recommendation was to try to include not only all members of the patient's outgoing and incoming medical team but the patients and their family members as well. This can help ensure that everyone is getting the same information, that no critical information is being forgotten and that everyone has a chance to ask questions or seek clarification.

If a loved one's condition worsened in a hospital or other medical facility due to medical error or negligence, this all-to-common lack of accurate and adequate communication could be, at least in part, to blame. If you believe they were the victim of medical malpractice, it's wise to talk with an experienced attorney to find out what your legal options are for seeking justice and compensation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
U.S.COURT OF APPEALS Fayette Country Bar Association KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION | 1871 KENTUCKY JUSTICE ASSOCIATION UNITED STATES DISTRICK COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE | United States Of America

Tell us about your needs.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

424 Lewis Hargett Circle, Suite 50B
Lexington, KY 40503

Phone: 859-359-7390
Fax: 859-381-0201
Lexington Law Office Map

107 S. Main St.
Harlan, KY 40831

Phone: 606-909-4794
Fax: 606-573-2150
Harlan Law Office Map

133 W. Chester Ave.
Middlesboro, KY 40965

Fax: 606-248-4483
Middlesboro Law Office Map