When something terrible happens, people affected often end up in the emergency room. Victims of violent crime and those who experience catastrophic accidents often need emergency care. However, plenty of people who don’t have an actual medical emergency also come to the emergency room, forcing staff members to carefully prioritize each incoming patient.
The sad truth is that the process of receiving care in the emergency room can be riddled with mistakes. People get turned away when they need help or left to wait while those in less serious conditions receive immediate attention.
Why in a part of the hospital where quick and accurate care is so important do medical mistakes occur so frequently?
All the major emergency room issues deal with information
When you look at the data, there’s a clear trend about the leading cause of emergency room mistakes. A report analyzing the causes of medical mistakes in emergency room care shows that communication issues and information-sharing stand out as massive concerns.
Information processing was responsible for 45% of emergency room mistakes, while failing to verify the information gathered caused another 31% of delays and mistakes. Inadequate information gathering contributed to 18% of the mistakes.
Overall, the communication among staff members about their interactions with a patient and the communication between staff members and patients can compromise the care that someone actually received. Workers in emergency room settings do deal with a lot of stress and need to make decisions quickly, but their mistakes can significantly hurt others.
Getting hurt or turned away because of an emergency room mistake might give you grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against the facility that failed to properly evaluate or treat your condition.