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Excessive work load in New York hospitals causing misdiagnoses?

Notwithstanding the major advances in medical sciences for investigating the causes behind serious illnesses and disorders, the procedures and practices are still not free from errors. The complicated medical investigative procedures can, in some instances, fail to diagnose diseases and conditions. Such failures can lead to lapses in treating serious diseases and conditions in patients in New York and nationwide. Incidents of misdiagnosis can be technical and procedural along with being related to the poor training and work pressure of the health workers.

Recently, a news report laid bare at least one potential reason behind the failure to diagnose various types of diseases like cancer, heart diseases, spinal injuries and liver diseases. A study was conducted in 506 hospitals, which revealed that 7 percent of the physicians indicated their excessive amount of work is the possible reason for patient health complications. Also, 5 percent have noted that it may have led to death over the last year.

Doctors' excessive workload may lead to poor care, according to the authors of the study. The new health law, which is supposed to bring in 30 million more Americans under insurance coverage, is going to create more pressure and burden on doctors.

The work pressure may prevent doctors from taking the time to understand and explore the medical needs of the patient. Instead, unnecessary tests are prescribed. Medical technicians under pressure can also commit errors in conducting tests. In such cases, hospitals may share the blame for potential understaffing or other standard work practices that may lead to such errors.

Of course, persons who are victims of wrong diagnosis - including those who suffer due to an overworked doctor - need a very skilled and experienced legal professional to handle their potential medical malpractice case. This may require a very meticulous and critical examination of the medical history, reports and tests to determine whether the suffering of the patient was due to failure to diagnose and treat or something beyond human control. Exposing flaws in the diagnosis and treatment could help in claiming damages from hospitals, doctors and healthcare workers.

Source: nhregister.com, "Doctors say excessive workloads put hospital patients at risk," Shannon Pettypiece, Jan. 30, 2013

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