By Joe Messa
As we continue examining Dr. Marty Makary’s article, it is important to note that in many cases medical errors can prevented. Sometimes, it is as simple as taking the time to double-check before doing something while other times following procedures already in place would make the difference. There is also the benefit of being able to study prior mistakes made by others. Learning from someone else and making the effort to not repeat a medical error can help to greatly reduce medical malpractice cases.
These things bring up issues of the quality of patient care, compliance, and the ability to gain knowledge of precisely what a medical professional does when treating a patient. Thus, the next recommendation made by Dr. Makary to promote transparency in the American healthcare system.
It seems obvious that most people do their best job when they know someone is watching them. In applying this to patient care in hospitals and physician offices, Dr. Makary proposes the use of cameras. The use of cameras would allow supervisors to review the quality of care given to patients and also promote compliance with policies. Additionally, there would be a record of medical errors allowing others to study the mistake and learn from it to help prevent future occurrences.
Dr. Makary discusses an experiment undertaken by Doug Rex of Indiana University. Dr. Rex is a well-respected gastroenterologist who began video recording colonoscopies being performed by doctors in his practice without them knowing. He assessed about 100 procedures checking for their thoroughness and then assigning scores folr quality. He then informed the doctors that he would be recording their procedures and compared the quality of procedures done after he advised them. Not surprisingly, the quality of the procedures increased dramatically. Patients were given longer, more in-depth procedures when the doctors knew their work was being monitored.
In taking the video taping of doctor-patient interactions a step further, Dr. Makary also says that Dr. Rex offered patients the opportunity to have a copy of the video of their procedure. He reported that 81 percent of the patients wanted it and 64 percent were willing to pay for it. This suggests that patients are also interested in knowing more about the care they receive. It makes sense that they would want that information, too. Ultimately, it is the patient who has to live with the effects of the treatment they receive. And if that care isn’t the best, they have the right to know and so do others.
Dr. Makary’s article, How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us, appeared in The Wall Street Journal on September 22, 2012.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases resulting from medical errors, including failure to diagnose or treat a condition, medication mistakes, incorrect surgeries or other instances of medical malpractice. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical experts are dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of a medical error or any other negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More