In this article, we’re examining the ways in which inputting data wrong can cause medical negligence.
In 2022, data drives almost every sector of our lives, including healthcare. Naturally, data is a major part of the UKs medical sector, but what happens if this data is incorrect?
English and Irish medical negligence claims have risen sharply in recent years, and it’s thought that data errors may be responsible for a significant number of these claims.
Data is now a driver for almost every aspect of our lives, including medical care. In this article, we’ll be looking at how inputting data wrong can cause medical negligence.
This term is used when a patient is either incorrectly diagnosed or receives inadequate or incorrect treatment through either error or incompetence. In many cases, this can have life-changing consequences for a patient and sadly, in many instances, can lead to a patient’s death or life-long disability.
When this happens, the patient or their family may be entitled to take the doctor, hospital, or medical institution to court to claim financial compensation for the error. In 2020, over 245 Euros was paid out in compensation relating to clinic care cases in Ireland – something which is devastating for an already beleaguered healthcare system.
There are a number of ways in which inputting incorrect data can lead to a medical negligence case. In this section, we’re going to be examining some of these:
When a patient requires medication for an illness or condition, it is imperative that the correct dosage is prescribed. Too little can cause a deterioration in the condition, and too much can lead to an overdose which can sometimes be fatal.
If the incorrect dosage of a medication, or in fact, the wrong medication altogether, is prescribed through a data error, this may have an adverse effect on the patient’s health. In this case, the hospital or doctor may face legal action by the patient or their family.
In order to effectively diagnose and treat a patient, it’s vital for doctors and healthcare professionals to have detailed information about that person’s medical history from birth. This information is inputted and transferred to each medical facility that the patient visits to ensure that doctors have the full picture before prescribing medication or treatment.
If a patient’s medical history is not recorded accurately, this can have devastating results. For example, if a professional fails to note that the patient has, in the past, suffered from an allergic reaction to certain medications, this can prove fatal. It could, of course, lead to compensation claims and these can lead to the loss of thousands if not millions of Euros.
From birth, most people in Ireland receive a number of vaccinations which are designed to prevent serious illnesses. A medical negligence claim can arise if vaccination information is not recorded correctly or is omitted from the patient’s records.
An example of this may be that a professional omits a particular vaccination from a patient’s record, meaning that the patient may receive the vaccination twice. Similarly, a professional may accidentally record that a child has received a vaccination when this is not the case. This could lead to the child potentially contracting a serious illness, such as mumps, which can lead to some complications later in life, including infertility.
If incorrect information about a patient is recorded at the diagnosis stage, known as misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis, this can sometimes lead to the patient being referred for a surgery that they may not need due to misinformation being passed along.
Surgical procedures can often be traumatic for a patient and can result in long recovery times. In these instances, the patient or their family will often sue for medical negligence to receive compensation for the undue stress that this has caused to them. In some instances, it could compensate for loss of earnings either temporarily or permanently.
Sadly, medical negligence is more common than we would like to think, and healthcare professionals are often encouraged to be less than forthcoming when this occurs. To begin with, you should request copies of all records about your treatment from your doctor, hospital, or healthcare facility. Next, you should contact a specialist medical solicitor who will be able to advise you on what action you may be able to take.
If your solicitor feels that you have a case for medical negligence, they will be able to handle this for you. This will include liaising with hospital management and acquiring doctors notes and other information which will help your case.
Medical negligence can be devastating for victims and their families and, in some extreme cases, can lead to a need for lifelong care. Although advances in technology are proving vital in assisting healthcare professionals, the use of technology such as artificial intelligence can, at times, lead to data errors.
If you feel that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence, it’s important that you act quickly in securing legal assistance as this can be a complex area which can be close to impossible to resolve without professional help.