Ohio Surgical errors occur on a regular basis. Why did the surgery fail? Why did the patient die? Why has recovery following the surgery taken so very long? Why was a foreign object left behind? WHY ISN’T ANYONE EXPLAINING TO ME WHAT WENT WRONG? Behind the wall of silence in healthcare are the unanswered questions of patients, spouses and parents whose precious children and loved ones experienced harm at the hands of the very caregivers they placed their trust in. In an industry where information and communication are crucial to quality, patients’, spouses’ and parents’ voices often go unheard. Why can’t I talk to the surgeon and get straight answers to straight questions without the surgeon being defensive? Why can’t I get someone to empathize with me? Does this sound familiar to you or your loved ones? If so, read on and visit www.ohiosurgicalerrors.com for help from the team of medical-legal professionals that understand your frustration and will try to get your questions answered.
Today, there is no lack of discussion about healthcare delivery and quality. Quality from the patients’ perspective includes access to care, responsiveness and empathy, good communication and clear information, appropriate treatment, relief of symptoms, improvement in health status, and safety and freedom from medical injury.
If a surgical error occurs it is important for the healthcare provider to listen to the patient, spouse or parent, acknowledge the damage, give an honest and open explanation and not try to hide the truth. If the injury was unavoidable, then explain why. If an error occurred and it was avoidable, should the patient, spouse or parent be lied to and given excuses? NO! Should the complexity of the medical field be used as a shield to avoid responsibility when an event was foreseeable and avoidable if reasonable care had been taken to treat the issue appropriately? NO!
As patients, spouses and parents, we do not expect perfection. We understand that medicine is complicated and that certain complications can happen and not every healthcare issue can be healed 100% of the time. However, we do expect that hospital systems that are designed with safety in mind, that when things go wrong someone should be there to fix the problem timely and explain why it happened. Unfortunately, our healthcare in Ohio and throughout the United States performs poorly on both counts compared with other industries with stronger cultures of safety, service, and learning. Many industries outside of healthcare have effectively designed safety features into the workflow. Limiting the number of hours that a taxi driver, long distance truck driver or airline pilot can work, as well as checklists for airline pilots and employees in various industries have all led to safer and more transparent outcomes. At Mishkind Kulwicki Law, we know how difficult it is for doctors to admit fault and how the truth about why something went wrong is so hard to obtain. No doctor intends to cause harm, but when they do it is very hard, due to our system of protecting and hiding the truth, for doctors to admit fault.
Frequently, patients, spouses and parents seeking to understand what happened and why, are faced with a wall of silence or unacceptable excuses and denials of responsibility. Too often, injured families are treated as adversaries rather than allies in the search for safer care. When Ohio Surgical Errors occur you should not be faced with a lack of understanding and empathy!
The internet is filled with horror stories about children dying due to medical negligence and surgical errors, husbands and wives dying and no one willing to tell the truth as to why it happened. The healthcare team goes behind closed doors to discuss the event, but the family is left in the dark. This is simply not acceptable in the 21st century where we place such a high price on safety and being kept safe.
Fear of reputational damage, professional discomfort with uncertainty and failure, the never-ending medicolegal myths regarding the risks of disclosure and an entrenched culture of self-protection still impede the willingness of some doctors to talk openly about and learn from adverse events.