For many, the idea of a sudden complication or lack of proper diagnosis from a sudden onset of illness is alarming. For others, they know, and have known, what’s wrong for a long time. Even those with a chronic illness deserve care and can become the victim of mistakes through delays and negligence.
Indeed, the largest number of misdiagnosis leading to a medical malpractice claim come from chronic illness. Nearly 60.6% of diagnostic errors come from cancer and vascular events, both areas where an initial diagnosis is known.
Reading through literature on the matter shows that the issues is widely known but also not so well understood. For those with a chronic illness, coming across these trends adds to their already palpable stress.
Chronic Conditions and Coding Issues
Even though insurance companies are currently unable to reject coverage based on known or pre-existing conditions, that wasn’t always the case. Because of the prevalence of tracking patients that were known to have costly medical issues, insurance companies create and track different treatments through codes.
The existence of these codes further burdens the already cumbersome charting of patients that contributes to medical errors. On top of that, most pre-existing conditions require frequent care. This means it is more likely for a patient to be at risk for an error.
When combined, this leads to patients that interact with lots of medical staff, frequently, getting those interactions coded in charts with a wide variety of notation.
More Care or Less?
Adding to this problem is the practice of preventative care. When a doctor suspects that patient will run out of insurance or is prone to being litigious, they over-treat to cover themselves from possible malpractice issues.
Unfortunately, this preventative care creates even larger data pools that both allow for blind alleys of diagnosis and create further risk of charting errors. As a patient, you don’t want to be subjected to tests and expenses potentially unrelated to your current concerns.
Meanwhile, studies such as this indicate that the more care a person is given, the less likely they will run into further complications that require more resources and time. The biggest difference is in individualized care versus evidence-based care.
The NHS of the UK has been dealing with the gap between individual and evidenced care for a while. Treating a patient as an individual, not as a disease or set of symptoms, has a better result. However, when it comes to an already overrun system, offering more care increases risks.
If you have a chronic condition and suspect you have been injured through error or negligence, you may wonder how to press forward. It’s bad enough that you must seek medical help on a routine basis, but you might also worry about being ostracized for pushing a lawsuit.
It’s not easy to deal with these stresses. However, seeking help means finding a better quality of care and holding the system responsible to help yourself and others. Get help by contacting us and learn more about your options and rights. We’re here to help.