8 Ways Emergency Departments Are Not Following Through With Patient Care

Sunday, October 25th, 2015 by | Posted In: Hospital Negligence, Medical Malpractice

er neglectIt is no secret that physicians, nurses, and staff in a hospital’s emergency department can get extremely busy with patient care. There are, however, times when emergency room staff overlook something in your medical chart or neglect to ask you a series of questions that would have been vital to your care. A report by emergency department risk managers outlines areas of oversight.

  1. Patients sent home with abnormal vital signs. Sixteen percent of patients sent home with at least one abnormal vital sign, were never re-evaluated.
  2. Poor risk factor analysis. Hospitals fail to ask family history questions of patients presenting with certain conditions, like chest pains.
  3. Incomplete charts. It is the standard of care to run a work-up on the organ system for which the patient has a complaint. Documentation of the exam is missing from a large number of records.
  4. Following the pain path. Failure to document radiating pain is critical in ruling out and diagnosing the complaint, especially in chest and abdominal pain.
  5. No pain medication. The report shows that for hundreds of patients that go to the emergency room with moderate to severe pain, less than 10% of them receive pain medication within 60 minutes of arrival.
  6. Poor discharge instructions. Discharge instruction should warn patients of how their injury/illness could affect others.
  7. Up-to-date on shots? Failure of emergency room staff to verify a child’s immunization status.
  8. Re-evaluate. Failure to refer patients to a specialist for re-evaluation of their complaint.

If you or a loved one were permanently injured after an emergency room visit, see if you have a medical malpractice case.


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