Articles Posted in Physician Malpractice

Medical malpractice can happen in a variety of ways. If you suspect that you or someone you love has been hurt by medical malpractice involving electronic health records (EHR), our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers can help. The rate of EHR-related claims has gone up drastically in the past decade and it is clear that adjustments have to be made to improve patient safety. As experienced medical malpractice advocates, we will meticulously investigate your case to identify any errors or lapses in judgment that may have caused you harm.

According to a recent report, EHR-related claims in medical malpractice lawsuits have increased from 0.35 percent in 2010 to 1.35 percent in 2018. Specifically, the rate of these claims shot up from a low of 7 cases in 2010 to an average of 22.5 between 2017 and 2018. It is important to note that EHRs are generally contributing factors as opposed to the primary causes of malpractice claims. Approximately 12 percent of the EHR-related claims were the result of technology failure, while 7 percent were the result of EHR lacking alerts or failing to send alerts. The main user-related problems included copying/pasting, EHR conversion issues and users entering the wrong information.

Researchers found that family medicine and internal medicine obtained the highest percentage of claims (8 percent) in which EHRs played a role, with cardiology and radiology next at 6 percent. General surgery and emergency medicine had the lowest percentage of claims involving EHRs (3 percent). Of all the claims related to EHRs, diagnosis-related claims accounted for almost one-third.

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Being the victim of medical malpractice is a situation that no one ever wants to find themselves in, but the reality is that it happens all the time in Maryland and throughout the country. If you have been injured due to the negligence of an ophthalmologist, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. Our skilled Baltimore ophthalmologist malpractice attorneys have a rich legacy of providing advocacy and legal services throughout the state.

A recent study from the Google AI Research Group suggests that physicians and algorithms working together can lead to positive patient outcomes. The report, which was published in the Journal of American Academy of Ophthalmology, found that algorithms improved an ophthalmologist’s diagnostic accuracy. This is potentially groundbreaking because more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, a potentially blinding eye disease. Sadly, the screenings that are intended to detect vision loss can vary substantially. One study determined that there was a 49 percent error rate among internists, diabetologists, and medical residents. As such, recent advances in AI that are committed to improving access to diabetic retinopathy screening and improve its accuracy could really change lives.

Unfortunately, like other doctors, ophthalmologists can make mistakes that lead to patient harm. If you have suffered harm due an ophthalmologist’s error, carelessness or misconduct – you may be able to recover damages through a medical malpractice claim. The specific damages you will be able to recover will vary depending on the nature and extent of the injury suffered. Typically, however, a plaintiff will be entitled to medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs and more.
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Physician burnout puts patient safety at risk and leads to potentially devastating errors. If you have been injured because of medical negligence that you believe was caused due to physician burnout, our Baltimore medical injury attorneys can help you learn more about your rights and options. With extensive experience in Maryland malpractice law, we understand how to investigate complex medical injury claims and protect your rights based on the facts.

Sadly, burnout is common for doctors. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion characterized by excessive and prolonged stress. It happens when a doctor is overwhelmed and unable to meet demands. which can lead to feelings of cynicism, worry and doubt. Physicians across the United States deal with symptoms of burnout at almost twice the rate of other workers, often pointing to reasons such as long hours, concerns about being sued, and dealing with workplace bureaucracy like filling out time-consuming electronic medical records.

While we know that doctor burnout is bad for both the physician and his or her patients, it is also extremely expensive. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that doctor burnout costs the US healthcare system approximately $4.6 billion a year. To draw this conclusion, researchers analyzed information such as recent reports and research – including direct or inferred findings on physicians cutting back on hours or quitting as a result of burnout. A mathematical model was then used to estimate the cost of burnout, focusing on the price tag of replacing doctors and lost wages from vacant positions.

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If you or someone close to you suffered harm because of a cardiology error, you should promptly seek legal advice to understand what your next steps should be. Our experienced Baltimore cardiology error attorneys will be there to help you get your life back on track after suffering a medical injury. You can take solace in the fact that we know how to build a case that gives you the best chance of obtaining fair compensation in your case.

The Study

Over the last ten years, rates of cardiology malpractice lawsuits have steadily increased based on an evaluation of more than 1,500 liability claims printed in the American Journal of Cardiology last month. The study examined cardiology malpractice lawsuits filed between the years of 2006 and 2015 in an attempt to figure out malpractice trends and common causes of patient harm in the specialty. The study showed that defensive medicine – a practice in which doctors treat their patients to evade liability claims rather than to provide the best care – is a factor in the increasing number of malpractice claims in the field of cardiology. Of the numerous claims, the primary accusations for malpractice were for improper medical treatment and diagnosis related errors. Other trends with claims included miscommunication, monitoring issues as well as equipment glitches or failures.

When a doctor, nurse or any other medical professional is negligent, the results can be devastating. If you have been injured or someone you know has died due to medical malpractice, you need the help of a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their harm. Time is of the essence in these cases so it is important to act as quickly as possible after your medical injury.

Doctors with burnout are twice as likely to prescribe the wrong medication and make the wrong diagnoses, according to a new large-scale study. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined 57 research papers that analyzed the responses of 43,000 doctors. The conclusion was that burnout has devastating effects on the quality of care that a patient receives. Burnout also makes doctors twice as likely to lower professional standards, such as not following set protocols and policies. For junior doctors, burnout increases the chances of lower professional standards by 3.5 times.

The study also revealed that patient satisfaction was significantly lower when doctors were physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted – key signs of burnout. The study confirms what has been known for a while: doctors work best when they are not overworked to the degree that they experience burnout. In other words, the well being of a doctor directly impacts patient care.

Careless communication or miscommunication between medical professionals can lead to serious medical injuries. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to a physician communication error, we urge you to contact a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we are ready to represent you and help you get the compensation you are rightfully owed for your harm.

While strong communication can help reduce incidents of malpractice in the first place, clear communication can also help after malpractice has occurred. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management, apologizing to patients reduces hospital defense and liability costs. Essentially, when hospital staff and doctors are willing to explain, apologize and resolve negative medical events it may substantially decrease defense and liability exposure.

The study found that using Erlanger’s Communication and Resolution Program (CRP), which was initiated in January of 2009, led to a 66 percent reduction in legal claims filed; a 51 percent reduction in defense costs; and a 53 percent reduction in the time it took to close cases. No medical mistake took place in 65 percent of adverse events. When medical professionals explained errors to patients and their families using CRP protocol, 43 percent of cases were resolved by an apology alone, even though 60 percent of those clients had legal representation.

Mistakes on the part of a gynecologist can pose significant dangers and cause serious harm to both the mother and the child. If you or your loved one has been hurt as a result of OBGYN medical malpractice, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer who can analyze your case. You can rest assured that we are committed to helping you obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve for your harm.

Hospitalists play an important role in health care. A hospitalist is a dedicated in-patient physician who works exclusively in a hospital. An obstetric or OBGYN hospitalist is an obstetrician and gynecologist physician who is either an employee or an independent contractor whose duties include providing care for laboring patients and managing obstetric emergencies. Hospitalists aim to reduce the confusion of a hospital stay and guide patients through their treatment.

According to Dr. Mark Simon, chief medical officer of the OB Hospitalist Group, when physicians partner with hospitalists, the risk of malpractice can decrease because tired and overworked OBGYNs can take a night off and have their patients be treated by a competent medical professional. This also helps with burnout issues and can mitigate malpractice lawsuits. In fact, one large health system that partnered with an OB hospitalist group cut its severe harm events by 31 percent.

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A patient’s medical file contains vital information regarding a person’s history of illness, his or her family medical history, information about any allergies, and any medications the patient may be using. When these records are not kept up to date, patients can be at risk of serious harm. If you have suffered medical malpractice resulting from errors in electronic records, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are committed to protecting your rights at every step of the way.

A team of researchers at MedStar, a not-for-profit health care organization headquartered in Maryland, examined almost two million reports of safety hazards from clinics in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region. Of the total, 557 explicitly stated that there was an issue with electronic health records (EHRs) that put a patient in danger.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that while EHRs have reduced certain kinds of medication mistakes compared to paper charts, the software can be challenging to use. In fact, “usability issues” ranging from data entry and display to defaults and drug orders contributed to patient harm. Consider the following example. In the United States, the medical community tends to weigh in pounds, so most scales are in pounds. However, in one case examined by the study, the EHR allowed a clinician to record a child’s weight in kilograms as opposed to pounds, which could have led to a serious overdose in medications that are based on their weight.

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Even though a patient wants to undergo a certain elective surgery, that does not mean he or she is a good candidate for that procedure. If you or someone close to you has been injured or has died as a result of elective surgery, it is important to reach out to a skilled Baltimore surgical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, we can assess the merits of your case and determine the viability of your claim. You can rest assured that we are prepared to vigorously advocate for your rights at trial.

In a recent Maryland medical malpractice case, the jury awarded a significant sum of money to the family of a man who died from heart complications following elective back surgery. The patient had a well-documented medical history of cardiac disease, with labs indicating aortic valve dysfunction, and he had been under the care of a cardiologist. He was 64 years old when he went to his doctor to be cleared for surgery in 2013. The clearance was given after an electrocardiogram (EKG). The EKG showed persistent right bundle branch block, which typically mandates a trip to the cardiologist before clearance. In this case, clearance was given and was not conditioned on the cardiologist’s approval. As a result, the man underwent surgery and ultimately died; his wife and three adult children survived him.

The patient’s surviving family members filed a wrongful death medical malpractice claim, alleging that the cardiac disease was too serious to allow elective surgery and that the physician should not have cleared the patient. The plaintiffs in the case argued that the patient would not have died if the doctor had properly referred the man to a cardiologist for evaluation. The jury agreed and awarded the plaintiffs medical malpractice damages.

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The skin is the largest organ of the body and is essentially our first line of defense against disease, bacteria, infection, and other maladies. As a result, when you visit a dermatologist with a skin issue, you expect to receive competent care. If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury as a result of a dermatology error, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we are dedicated to getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their harm so that they can move on with their lives.

According to a recent study that analyzed characteristics of medical liability claims against dermatologists from 1991 to 2015, female dermatologists were sued less often than their male counterparts. The reason was that female dermatologists were better communicators and engaged in more patient-centered communication. As a result, male physicians were 2.5 times more likely to be sued for medical malpractice than their female colleagues. The study analyzed 90,743 closed claims and determined that nearly 70 percent of lawsuits were against male physicians.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that improper performance of a procedure (i.e., medical errors in skin operations) and misdiagnosis were the two most common medical errors associated with the 1,084 closed medical malpractice claims in dermatology as well as all fields of medicine. While dermatologists have seen a 2.5 reduction of closed claims in the past 20 years, this is a slight shift when compared to the 17.9 percent reduction noted for all specialties.

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