June 7, 2022

Ep 8 Medical Errors

It does not surprise me, *almost* ever, when I hear stories of medical errors. I recall being so busy in my last years of practice that my head would spin during the day from the pace. Doctors are pulled in so many directions at once - patient care, insurance calls, EMR, teaching students and residents, paperwork, and the list goes on.

I don't know the data on this, but I would bet that a good percentage of errors happen because of the above reality. But then there are stories of total negligence, which are in their own unfortunate category.

Today we'll hear three stories of medical errors. The first is about what I consider to be outright negligence, with a drastic consequence. The doctor involved had multiple opportunities to be a better listener to the patient's calls for help, and did nothing.

The second story is about a small medical records "error" - it's in quotes because frankly I'm not sure if it was an honest error or just really bad record keeping. Either way, it has ripple effects far beyond just that incorrect note.

The last story is my own, about an experience with a surgical error that I had a few years back. I wanted to include it to be able to say out loud that I was NOT as upset about the error, but the cover up afterwards. Since my children were little I've always told them that I'll be upset at a 1 for whatever they did, but at a 10 if they lie about it. Usually patients just want to hear acknowledgement and an apology after an error, but they don't get it much.