Common errors made during and after hospital discharge

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Being sent home too early from the hospital is a common medical mistake. Patients who are discharged before lab results are returned, for example, may never have a physician follow up with them, even if bloodwork and other testing indicates the patient’s condition is life threatening.

Another potential problem is poor communication. According to Kaiser Health News, many patients are discharged without a clear understanding of what they should do. While protocols have been established to improve communication within medical centers, there is not yet a protocol governing communication between medical providers.

Prescription medication errors, including incorrect medication, inadequate dosage and drug interactions, are another common error when patients leave a hospital. Patients’ pharmacy regimens are often interrupted while they are in the hospital. When they are released, either to go home or to an assisted living or nursing home facility for rehabilitation, home care nurses or staff at these facilities may fail to inspect old and new medications to ensure the patients are safe from harmful drug interactions.

Patients who have become gravely ill or families who have lost a loved one due to medical errors or poor communication after being discharged from a hospital should contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Medical malpractice attorneys are experienced at handling these types of catastrophic outcomes and can help recover just compensation for victims when a hospital, pharmacy or after-care provider was negligent.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.