In our last post, we began speaking about postpartum hemorrhage and the duty doctors have to address pregnant women’s risks in this area. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, in addressing this issue and others like it, has found that working to improve communication between hospital staff can do a lot to cut down on the risk of excessive bleeding. One way the hospital system is working to improve communications is by adopting simulation training, particularly in obstetrics and other areas considered high-risk.
Quick, accurate communication between physicians, nurses and the entire team of professionals responsible for caring for patients is an important factor in preventing many types of medical error. In fact, the university has been able to reduce its malpractice costs by 26 percent since 2011 by improving communication procedures through simulation training.
Of particular importance when it comes to communication is when shifts change and providers hand off patients to the next care team. If staff members going off shift fail to ensure those going on duty don’t have an accurate update, and if those coming on duty fail to exercise due care in gather information, continuity and quality of care may suffer. For physicians, it is particularly important to communicate effectively with staff members who may not have the extent of knowledge or experience they do.
Those who have been seriously harmed by negligent medical care, regardless of the cause or causes, should always work with an experienced legal advocate. Doing so ensures that they will have their case thoroughly evaluated and that they will be fully prepared to take whatever steps necessary to seek appropriate compensation going forward.