Electronic health records are increasingly used in medical practice in Illinois, but they may play a part in medical safety errors, especially errors in medication. A study published by Health Affairs found that more than 50 percent of pediatric medical errors were linked to the functionality of EHR systems. The studied involved more than 9000 safety reports from people who were patients from 2012 to 2017. Records from three separate healthcare companies were examined.
Patients depend on their doctors for many things, ranging from the basic, such as well-checks or influenza treatment, through broken bones and minor surgeries, and all the way to life-threatening conditions. At every stage there is a level of competence required by the doctor or the patient may suffer harm. In many cases, errors are made not as often in actively doing something wrong as a surgical error, for instance, but in a misdiagnosis of observed symptoms.
Every year in the U.S., an estimated 12 million adult outpatients are the victims of diagnostic errors. A study published by Health Affairs has explored the patient-physician interactions that might contribute to these errors. It should be of interest to Illinois residents who have been the victims of medical malpractice.
Illinois readers likely can't imagine being put under anesthesia for back surgery and waking up to find out that one of their kidneys had been mistakenly removed. However, that's exactly what happened to a Floria woman, according to a recently filed administrative complaint.
Pharmacists are often the last line of defense when it comes to preventing possible medication mistakes that may adversely affect patients in Illinois. Yet dispensing errors could be responsible for just under 22 percent of medication oversights that may impact patients' health, according to results from one study. This doesn't mean pharmacists don't actively try to protect patients as much as possible. However, patients can be equally proactive when it comes to reducing pharmacy-related mistakes.
Doctors in Illinois and other parts of the United States typically make every effort to successfully treat patients. Even so, a survey involving nearly 7,000 hospital and clinical physicians suggests that many doctors in the U.S. are burnt out and more likely to make patient-related errors. The poll covered a wide range of issues that may affect doctor performance, including workplace safety and personal issues such as depression, fatigue and suicidal thoughts.
Some women in Illinois might struggle to get a medical diagnosis compared to men. Women have a 50 percent higher chance of not being diagnosed with heart disease, and this is true even after a heart attack. They are more likely to die in the hospital after a heart attack and are 30 percent more likely to have a stroke misdiagnosed. Pain is more likely to be ignored, and autoimmune diseases, which are far more common in women, may take years to diagnose.
Early-stage pancreatic cancer patients in Illinois and worldwide could live longer with the help of a four-drug chemotherapy combo, according to a new study. The combo could become the new standard of care for patients who qualify for surgery.
Health care providers in Illinois, especially at emergency rooms, continually face challenges when collecting information from patients about their medications and medical conditions. Ideally, emergency departments have a pharmacist who can interview incoming patients and alert other medical staff members to medication use and potential side effects. To improve access to pharmacists, one hospital experimented with a telemedicine system.
LASIK is a surgical procedure that can improve a person's eyesight. By changing the shape of the cornea, the procedure allows Illinois patients to rely less on glasses and contacts to see properly. The FDA regulates any device used to perform a LASIK surgery, but it does not regulate the doctor who performs it.