Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition that requires quick treatment. However, a recently-published editorial argues that new guidelines requiring sepsis to be treated within one hour of diagnosis could actually harm patients in Kentucky and elsewhere.
Doctors and nurses do not always correctly diagnose conditions. In fact, experts estimate that each year, doctors misdiagnose 12 million people, missing 20% of serious medical conditions. Kentucky residents would do well to get a second, third or even fourth opinion when diagnosed with a condition.
Between 20% and 30% of surgeons in Kentucky and across the U.S. are reported for unprofessional behavior from co-workers or from former patients and their families. Unprofessional behavior in the OR should be of concern to everyone since it raises the risk of patients developing post-surgical complications. A study linking the two has recently been published by JAMA Surgery.
In April 2013, a 68-year-old former judge for Jefferson County, Kentucky, died after 24 days in a nursing home when he failed to receive necessary antibiotics. The judge had been treated at a hospital for an infection, received antibiotics and then moved to the nursing home two weeks later. He was supposed to take the antibiotics for a period of four weeks at that nursing home, at which time he would have been fit enough to leave.
Patients in Kentucky can be seriously impacted by prescribing or medication list errors. This is one of the reasons why a group of physician assistant student researchers has developed a new patient medication interview process. It's meant to serve as part of a medication reconciliation training program for medical record technicians.
Kentucky patients and others who are diagnosed with schizophrenia may not actually have the condition. This is according to a study from Johns Hopkins University that analyzed 78 cases referred to the Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic from February 2011 to July 2017. In 54 of those cases, an individual was predetermined to have schizophrenia. However, only 26 of those individuals actually had the condition while the others were deemed to have anxiety or other mood disorders.
Two separate reports from medical malpractice insurers have found that misdiagnosis is the number one reason for claims against physicians. Kentucky residents may be interested to hear that diagnostic errors are, according to the National Academy of Medicine, possibly the third leading cause of death among hospitalized patients. Previous studies also show that misdiagnosis-related claims usually involve disability or death.
At the 2019 Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is meeting was an international guest of honor, a doctor from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. According to him, up to 45 percent of adverse medical events involve surgery patients, and anywhere from 35 to 66 percent of these surgery-related events take place in the operating room. Kentucky residents should know that surgeons, in order to avoid such events, require not only technical skills but also certain non-technical skills.
When Kentucky surgeons face stress on the job, the potential consequences may be troubling for their patients. According to a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University, surgeons make up to 66 percent more errors during stressful moments. The researchers used a technology to track the electrical activity of a surgeon's heart while performing procedures in the operating room. During periods of stress, surgeons were more likely to make errors. Some of these mistakes may cause tears to tissue, burns or bleeding in the patient.
A parent seeking medical care for their child in Kentucky should be able to assume that health care professionals will do everything possible to avoid oversights and mistakes. Still, there are times when human error contributes to patient safety risks. Surprisingly, a new study has found that half of all pediatric safety errors are actually attributable to electronic health record (EHR) oversights. The study is based on a review of nearly 10,000 patient safety reports over a five year period.