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How often does poorly coordinated care result in medical errors?

It’s not uncommon for older patients or ones suffering from chronic medical conditions to require the support of a team of physicians to achieve the best outcomes in their cases. Research on the topic of coordinated care reveals that the quality of a patients’ care and how well they respond to it is only as good as the back-and-forth communication that their providers enjoy.

When consulted about the state of coordinated health care in 2013, one Harvard health analyst mentioned that one of the biggest problems for patients was that no one was responsible for coordinating it. Harvard researchers found that this resulted in as much as 98,000 patient fatalities due to potentially preventable medical errors annually.

Patients are often under the impression that their primary care physician is their leading care provider and responsible for overseeing every other doctor who also sees them. Some hospitals have physicians known as hospitalists handling such responsibilities. These medical providers manage a patient’s medications, coordinate with specialists they see and guide them toward making it back home.

Hospitalists visit clients in their rooms to check in on them, but their primary role is communicating with specialists about their treatment plans. They then take this information, synthesize it and let the patient understand what’s going on cohesively.

It’s difficult for hospitalists to manage everything, though. When patients are incoherent or medicated and can’t communicate well, doctors may not get the whole picture of their condition. Patient safety advocates note that it’s vital to document who’s in charge and what everyone says to enhance treatment outcomes.

A significant number of Baton Rouge patients go into hospitals expecting to receive quality care and end up having a decline in health or otherwise losing their battles with their illnesses. Outcomes like these often stem from a lack of care coordination. A medical malpractice attorney will want to know about your experiences leading up to you or your loved one’s health decline. Your lawyer will then advise you how Louisiana law may allow you to file a medical malpractice lawsuit given your case’s unique circumstances.

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