Documentation is Key in Medical Negligence Cases

Health care is one of the most controversial and expensive topics facing all industrialized nations today: Medical doctors require huge insurance provisions, citizens are encouraged to have at least basic coverage, and costs continue to rise as hospitals and private practices update their procedures, equipment, and accessory staff. Due to the nature of health care, prices can naturally reach high levels because of what is at stake: people’s lives, quality of life, and livelihoods. Unfortunately there are tragic events of medical negligence and malpractice where an attending physician may not have the proper training to engage in a certain procedure or a licensed doctor may recommend an incorrect course of action or diet to a patient and it ends up causing the patient harm, distress, or even death.

All medical doctors are required to pledge to the Hippocratic Oath in which they swear that will not act unethically nor intentionally harm anyone under their care. In almost all cases of medical negligence it is almost never the intent of the defendant doctor that they caused injury or ruin to their patient, but doctors are held to high legal standards. Because of this it is important that they, along with conscious patients and family members, to document all actions and events that occur when someone is required to go to the hospital or undergo a medical procedure. It is required that doctors, nurses, and even orderlies provide major and minor documentation in almost all cases but it is a good die for patients to take notes as well. Even mundane duties and simple actions can have a great impact upon a patient’s health and state of mind. Did the nurse actually check the patient’s blood pressure? Did the doctor ever receive the necessary X-rays before recommending a medical procedure? Documentation during these times is quite important and can sometimes go a long way in determining the result of a medical negligence case.

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