Negligence In Health Care Case Study

1429 Words 6 Pages
Negligence in Emergency Departments: Who’s to Blame?
Introduction
Health care in the United States is a thriving industry that is exponentially growing, with expenses consuming approximately 17.4% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Martin et. al, 2016). In fact, health care related expenses reached $3 trillion in 2014, and an estimated $55.6 billion of that $3 trillion was spent solely on medical liability expenditures (Mello et. al, 2014). Recently published studies have shown that one of the major contributing factors influencing the gross range of medical liability expenses is negligence in the healthcare setting (Mello et. al, 2014). The term “negligence” covers a vast array of clinical malpractices that adversely affect the
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In this case, Pravat Mukherjee, who was involved in a motorcycle accident, was taken to Ruby General Hospital for his severe condition. His insurance policy at the time covered Rs. 65,000 of hospital expenses. After the hospital began treatment, they demanded that he pay Rs. 15,000 upfront for continued treatment. At this time the hospital took Mr. Mukherjee off treatment and he later expired. Although this case was outside of the healthcare system in the United States, it shows how negligence and refusal of care was at direct fault of the hospital (Pandit and Pandit, 2009). Not only does this case point out the negligent action of the hospital staff, it also touches upon the ethical issues revolving their choice of treating a critical …show more content…
Defensive medicine has become one of the more dominant resolutions, but is not realistic in an emergency medicine setting (Hermer and Brody, 2010). Defensive medicine entails adding on tests, treatments, and procedures for the sole purpose of reducing criticism and risk associated with missing a life threatening diagnosis (Summerton, 1995). This solution may be beneficial in private and primary care settings as physicians have more time with patients as compared to the Emergency Department setting.
Emergency Departments across the country are already known to be understaffed, which inevitably reduces the amount of time spent interacting with individual patients (Dickinson, 1989). In addition to the time associated with defensive medicine, many physicians believe that implementing defensive medicine in Emergency Departments also drives up health care costs (McQuade, 1991). The negative impacts of defensive medicine also increase incidences of overprescribing, requiring frequent follow up visits and additional diagnostic testing. So what could be the ideal and realistic solution to avoiding negligence in Emergency Departments? Health care costs are inevitable, and as a result, many researchers are pointing to adding more physicians into Emergency Departments to compensate for negligence, rather than the use of defensive medicine (Summerton, 1995).

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