Outpatient Care Must Be Looked At, Along With Hospitals
INDIANA OUTPATIENT CARE & MEDICAL ERRORS
When most people think of medical care, they think of hospitals and nursing homes and other inpatient facilities. However, many people forget that many people need outpatient care as opposed to inpatient care and that medical errors can occur outside the hospital as well.
A new study of more than 12,500 Medicare patients who made claims between 1998 and 2005 revealed that of the patients that were injured by poor medical care, around 62 percent of the injuries occurred during outpatient care. Hospitals and other inpatient centers had a much lower rate.
The study found that many of the injuries that occur in outpatient settings are often linked to overwork and over stressed doctors, lack of time to make a complete diagnosis, and failure to incorporate more sophisticated diagnostic techniques that would help physicians order tests quickly, and interpret those tests correctly, and arrive at a correct diagnosis in the minimum amount of time. Hopefully for the sake of patient safety, outpatient centers will spotlight and address these problem areas.