Miscommunication often occurs during handoff points, when one medical professional's shift ends or when a patient is transferred between departments or locations. Such miscommunication too often leads to medical errors.
Handoffs can occur in the following circumstances: between doctors or nurses at the end of a shift and the start of a new one, between a primary care physician and specialist during a referral, between a hospital specialist and primary care physician during a discharge, when a patient is moved from the recovery room to a medical surgical unit, when a patient is transferred from an emergency room to a critical care unit, or when a patient is moved from a hospital to a nursing home.
When a primary care physician (PCP) refers the patient to a specialist, the PCP believes that the patient's history was conveyed to the specialist 69% of the time according to the study. However, the specialist says he/she received the information 35% of the time. On the other hand, specialists claim they sent consultation results to PCPs 81% of the time, whereas PCPs admit they only receive them 62% of the time.
Furthermore, according to a 2007 study, direct communication between hospital specialists ("hospitalists") and PCPs only occurs about 3-20% of the time.
As a practicing medical malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury attorney in New York, I deal with the dangerous consequences that arise from negligent communication like this every day. If you have experienced related problems, I want you to pick up the phone and call me. I can help. If you would like more information about how medical malpractice and cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website http://www.oginski-law.com. If you have legal questions, I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at lawmed1[email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.