Medical Malpractice Caused by Doctor Burnout

Medical Malpractice Lawyer Philadelphia

As more and more healthcare facilities lean toward putting profit over patient safety, there is an increased risk of physician burnout due to the almost impossible demands, as well as medical staff shortages. This burnout not only puts the doctors’ health at risk, but it also puts patients’ safety at risk as the incidents of medical errors continue to skyrocket, as a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer knows well.

There is also evidence that one of the medical tools that was supposed to make life easier for medical personnel could actually be contributing to the high rate of burnout among doctors and other medical staff and that is electronic health records (EHR). The amount of time that is spent filling out all required data in these records is a large complaint by many of the people who EHRs are supposed to help and takes away from quality time that should be spent with patients.

Studies show that more than half of all doctors are struggling with at least one symptom of physician burnout. The majority of doctors also say they would never recommend medicine as a career choice and did not have positive feelings about making this choice themselves. The overwhelming primary reason cited for this dissatisfaction was the way the medical system is managed.

Just like in any career, this burnout has a negative impact on the very people that are supposed to be helped – the patients. This condition often leaves doctors feeling stressed out and this contributes to missing important factors when diagnosing patients. Their thinking is not as clear as it should be, and they often suffer from fatigue – all factors which add up to a serious risk for patients.

Consequences for physician burnout include the following:

  • Alcohol and/or drug addiction
  • Compassion fatigue, also referred to as depersonalization, aimed at patients
  • Fatigue or exhaustion which impacts both emotional and physical energy levels
  • Feelings of lack of effectiveness at the service the doctor is providing to patients.
  • Higher rate of preventable medical errors
  • Higher risks of malpractice
  • Lower patient satisfaction
  • Lower quality of care for patients
  • Suicide

So how can a patient determine if their doctor is suffering from burnout in order to protect themselves? The following steps may help:

  • When you have an appointment with your physician, make sure to show up on time so you will have the time allotted to you to spend with your doctor.
  • Always have any questions you have written down and ready before your appointment. Make sure to prioritize the list by putting your most serious concerns first.
  • Bring a document with you that has all the medications you are on and what the dosages are to make sure your doctor is fully aware and to make sure that all of these are listed in your medical records. This is especially important if you are being treated by your primary care doctor and other specialists.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a member of your family has been a victim of malpractice, contact one of the medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia offers at Wieand Law Firm, LLC today to meet with a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia, PA and find out what legal recourse you may have.

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