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Miscommunication: The deadly disease in US hospitals and clinics

Imagine for a moment that one of your loved ones has just come out of surgery. They are complaining of pain localized in the area where the surgery was performed. Unfortunately, that information is never relayed to the attending physician who would have been able to diagnose a serious surgical error in time to correct the mistake. As a result of the medical staffs failure to communicate, your loved one dies, leaving you questioning whether or not to file a civil complaint in the wake of your grief.

Frequent readers of our blog know that scenarios like the one above are all too possible despite medical and technological advancements in the last few decades. In fact, according to a recent report released by CRICO Strategies, which is a part of the Harvard Medical Institutions' Risk Management Foundation, roughly 2,000 patients could have been spared from death if medical staff had only communicated better with patients. More alarming than that, the research and analysis company also concluded that in 30 percent of med-mal cases, communication failures were the inciting cause.

Though hospitals and staff blame many miscommunications on the fact that they are often overworked, under immense pressure and forced to use antiquated systems in some cases, many of our Maryland readers likely agree that excuses aside, more needs to be done to ensure the safety of patients throughout the state and country. No one should ever have to lose a loved one because a nurse of doctor forgot to relay life-saving information to another medical professional.

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