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The Modern Rules of Patient Care: Is Your Doctor Ignoring the Standard?

Written by Berkowitz

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Malpractice Lawyers Fighting Victims of Substandard Doctor Care in Connecticut

Patient care puts the patient first. Not the medical provider, hospital, clinic, or insurance company. Instead, it is about what is best for the patient. It involves a team-based approach to caring and treating patients. It also identifies a working relationship between all healthcare providers, including patients, doctors, nurses, and technicians.

The health care team should include a diverse group of professionals, and the team must centralize around the patient.

The concept is quite simple, but it seems that many healthcare providers ignore the importance of patient care. Sadly, when this happens, substandard medical care is the result. Sometimes, this substandard care results in harm or the death of the patient.

When a patient is harmed or dies because of a lack of health care adequacy, they can file a claim against the responsible party and hold them accountable.

Naturally, patients want to avoid such injuries and incidents, which is why they advocate for their patient care. They demand more from their healthcare providers, and they continually monitor their progress.

As a patient, you are charged with performing due diligence not only when selecting a physician, but when handling a diagnosis, enduring a treatment, or going through your usual care routine. If you are unaware of the modern rules of patient care, or you do not know the warning signs of inadequate care, you are at higher risk for a serious injury.

The Patient Knows their Body and Illnesses

A patient knows his or her body. They know how their bodies react to illnesses, and they know when something’s not right. It is the physician’s duty to listen to these concerns and take the patient’s insight into consideration. After all, a patient is one of the best diagnostic tools at a healthcare provider’s disposal.

A patient should have his or her voice heard, and if they feel they are not being heard, they must speak up. While it might sound obvious, many patient injuries occur because the patient does not advocate for him or herself.

The Biggest Stakeholder in Healthcare is the Patient

When you think about healthcare and the quality of healthcare received, the greatest stakeholder in quality care is the patient. Doctors and health care providers listen to the patient because the outcome directly affects the patient’s quality of life.

The Patient Also Holds Responsibility

While medical malpractice cases focus on the errors made by the health care professional, realize that the patient plays a role in whether they are the victim of malpractice or not (in certain cases). Patients are the center of health care. They must spend their time, effort, and money looking for a health care provider they are confident in, trust, and know competent.

They should select the right team members for their health care too, and ensure those providers hold similar lifestyles and values.

Stopping the “Best Doctor” Mindset

While there are great doctors out there, there is no such thing as a one size fits all mold for physicians. What is the “best doctor” for one patient, might not be the best for another. However, there are indicators if a physician is more apt to cause injury than others.

Warning Signs Your Doctor Ignores the Basics of Patient Care

It is imperative that you know the warning signs of inadequate patient care, and you respond when those signs are present. To protect yourself from malpractice, you must be your advocate.

You Have Lost Confidence in Your Doctor’s Abilities

You should trust your health care provider. If you cannot trust their diagnostics or techniques, then it is time to move to a physician you do trust. Any doubts about a doctor’s competence should never be ignored.

While some patients will settle for the status quo, you have the right to the highest level of health care. Therefore, do not stick with a doctor for a long time simply because of loyalty.

Your Doctor is Not on Staff at Any Local Hospitals

Many hospitals have staff physicians, but they also allow outside providers privileges in their facility. Your physician that is on staff can review chart notes, order tests, and care for you while you are in the hospital.

If your physician has no privileges or has lost his or her staff status at the hospital, you must ask yourself why. You can also review the hospital report card on the federal website to see if that are any complaints.

A good doctor must be on staff at a minimum of one hospital so that they can participate in your care if you are hospitalized or sent there for an emergency.

You Have a Doctor that is Not Board-Certified for the Specialty

Board certifications are confusing. However, if you are seeing a physician that practices in a specialty, they should be board certified for that profession. While a certification does not mean you will receive high-quality care, it does mean that your physician is competent within his or her field.

Most specialties require that a physician recertifies every so many years. To do so, he or she must prove that they are up-to-date on the latest developments in that specialty, have provided standard and acceptable care, and that they are familiar with the latest procedures.

You can review your physician’s current board certification status online through the state medical board. If your doctor is not board certified in his or her specialty, it might be in your best interest to find a doctor who is certified.

You Have No Valued Input

When you speak with your physician, you should feel as though your word holds value. If your doctor does not care about your input or listen to what you say, then you are not working with a good physician.

Most doctor visits give 15 minutes, which is not enough time. However, the doctor should give you all 15 minutes of his or her undivided attention. They should ask about your concerns, listen to what you are feeling, and you must feel comfortable sharing your medical information with him or her.

If you leave that appointment feeling as though your concerns were not addressed or the doctor did not answer all your questions, that is an indicator of inadequate care and attention.

You Have No Idea Why You Take Certain Prescriptions

A new study has revealed that seven out of ten patients take at least one prescription drug. Most commonly these prescriptions are antibiotics, while the rest are opioids and antidepressants.

More than half of Americans take two medications, while 20 percent of the population currently takes five or more prescription drugs.

Whether you take one or multiple prescriptions, do you know what they are for and why you take them each day?

Your physician has a requirement that he or she must tell you not only about each medication they prescribe, but why you are on them. After all, you did not want to take a drug you potentially do not need.

Your Physician Does Not Coordinate Well with Other Providers

If you have a chronic illness, you may see specialists as well as your family care provider. However, each member of your medical team must coordinate well with one another, stay up-to-date, and keep communication lines open.

Also, you should assess the quality of referrals you get from your physician. Do you trust the doctors he or she recommends? Do you feel they are looking out for your best interest? A good doctor works within a network of highly qualified physicians that provide equally adequate care.

Your Physician’s Office is Disorganized and Difficult to Reach

You should be able to contact your doctor’s office or at least have your calls returned promptly. Also, insurance forms should be completed correctly, and your prescriptions should be easily read. Your medical charts must be updated immediately, and your doctor’s waiting room should not look like a parking lot.

If you must wait over an hour in the lobby then 30 minutes more while you are in the patient room, what quality of care are you receiving at that point? Especially, when the physician shows up after 1.5 hours to give you 15 minutes of his or her time.

You Never See Your Doctor Anymore

Doctors rely heavily on a network of medical “gatekeepers.” These professionals administer care when the physician is overbooked, but should not be the only caregivers you have. If you see the nursing assistant or physician’s assistant more than your doctor, there might be an issue with availability.

Your Doctor Does Not Use the Latest Technique

Some doctors do not automatically switch to the most recent medication or devices when they come out, which is fine. They are waiting for research and testing. However, if your doctor is using techniques from 20 years ago or even ten years ago, these are dramatically outdated and affect the quality of care you receive.

Instead, a physician should be using the latest techniques, read the journals, and follow the studies on medications and devices they use. Otherwise, they may be using harmful and outdated methods.

Holding Health Care Providers Responsible for Poor Patient Care is Possible

Poor patient care is inexcusable. While physicians may find themselves overloaded with patients, that does not mean that their quality of attention can fall below the standard. When it does, a patient could suffer from a serious, if not fatal, injury.

If you are the victim of medical malpractice, you do have options. Not only should you hold that physician or healthcare provider responsible, but ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries.

To explore your options, work with a local law firm that is experienced in these types of cases. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna, LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online to get started with your case.