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Doctors, lies and medical malpractice

We've written before that the number one preventive measure to medical malpractice and hospital mistakes in our Ohio and Kentucky hospitals is communication. Such communication can be between doctors and nurses, anesthetists and surgeons, hospital staff and administrators and, particularly, medical providers and their patients before, during and after care have taken place.

Unfortunately, according to a recent study medical providers often lie to their patients that a mistake was made out of fear of being sued. Yet if a mistake was made, covering up the mistake may compound the problem rather than make the doctor or nurses look any better.

"Our findings raise concerns that some patients might not receive complete and accurate information from their physicians," researchers of the study said. The researchers (from Harvard Medical School) were also concerned about the possibility of placing the patient at the center of their care when they may not have been fully informed about their options. Without accurate information, patients are more likely to make errors concerning their own care.

Some doctors feel that presenting treatment options only in the best light will make patients feel more positive about their care. What doctors do not seem to understand is that being up front about medical errors actually reduces the amount of anger patients feel towards their medical providers. Obviously patients angry with their doctors are more likely to contact attorneys and bring medical malpractice claims.

It must be repeated that mistakes will be made without sufficient and accurate communication between all parties involved in medical care. Miscommunications or withholding of information that only makes a patient's condition worse ultimately should be considered negligence on the part of the medical providers.

Source: MSNBC, "Many docs tell white lies, study finds," Feb. 8, 2012

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