If you are like most people, you think of your local emergency room as your go-to place any time you suffer an unexpected injury or illness. After all, by definition an emergency room has the doctors and other health care professionals to determine what is wrong with you and how to best treat it. But what happens if these professionals make a mistake?
Science Daily reports that emergency room errors occur all too frequently. While you might think that they happen because of the frantic activity that often takes place in an overcrowded ER, such does not appear to be the case. Instead, ER errors seem to have more to do with the way in which health care professionals gather and process the information about you.
Most common ER error causes
In order of occurrence, the following make up the most common causes for ER errors:
- Failure to adequately process information – 45% of errors
- Failure to adequately verify information – 31% of errors
- Failure to adequately gather information – 18% of errors
- Failure to adequately assess the seriousness of the patient’s symptoms – 13% of errors
- Failure to properly diagnose the patient’s illness or injury – 13% of errors
- Other knowledge problems – 6% of errors
Source: Science Daily
Most common ER errors
Specifically, you risk becoming the victim of one or more of the following any time you visit the ER:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Delayed treatment
- Failure to treat
- Premature ER discharge
- Misread test results
These types of errors, in turn, can escalate into additional errors such as prescribing the wrong medications and/or sending you home when you should have been admitted to the hospital.