The Doctors Company has revealed shocking study results explaining that insufficient pre-operation patient assessments are one major reason behind most of the medical negligence cases that are filed against anesthesiologists. This is a highly credible study for coming out from America’s biggest doctors-founded medical malpractice insure.
The Doctors Company is created and run by certified physicians and continuously working to safeguard and reward best-practicing physicians. It deals with medical malpractice insurance claims and helps hospitals and healthcare units by providing them expert services, guidelines, and resources.
Operating nationwide with more than 82 thousand registered members and more than $4.5 billion in the form of assets, The Doctors Company is the A-rated organization from the professionals.
This report studies the new trends in anesthesia and patient care to develop strategies in high-risk cases. It says that the three biggest reasons that could cause patient injury include the following.
- Inadequate patient assessment before surgery such as medical history.
- Monitoring of the patient.
- Communication among service providers and physicians.
During this review, the physicians found a history of the inadequacy of services as well as physicals in 67% of the cases in which patients were wither suffering from obesity or sleep apnea.
Darrell Ranum, a co-author at this study and VP at patient safety and risk management, The Doctors Company says that these findings clearly show limited chances to practically conduct these pre-surgical assessments. He further adds that otherwise, it would be possible to identify the medical history of the patient and his family along with other comorbidities before going for surgery.
Ranum further adds that this was part of the mission to encourage anesthesiologists and other healthcare workers to cooperate and make the complete patient assessment before sending it to the surgery.
Susan K. Palmer is a practicing anesthesiologist and co-authors this study along with Ranum. She shares that in a private setup, anesthesiologists are much likely to feel pressure on performing and review a patient’s medical history. Sometimes even when they have a chance of complete pre-operation assessments and find something that could cause a problem, they may find it difficult to postpone the surgery.
That is why it is necessary to take steps to reduce such risks. She further adds that usually, patients opt for anesthesiologist’s consultation one week prior to the surgery. Most of the healthcare organizations and hospitals send these pre-set questionnaires related to anesthesia to the target patient. This way, anesthesiologists and surgeons together decide on performing, delaying or canceling any surgery.
This report also discusses some risk mitigation strategies that could help in reducing risk and improve healthcare quality in the US. Some of the suggestions include the following
- Taking consent from patients on anesthesia and educating him on the possible risks.
- Allocating sufficient time to anesthesiologists to complete the assessment prior to surgery.
- Taking a complete record of any previous experience with anesthesia and creating a customized plan for him.
- Making the complete documentation of a pre-surgical anesthesia assessment.
- Paying attention to the signs shown by patients while giving him anesthesia, instead of relying on equipment alone.
- Improving communication with surgeons about the physiological conditions of the patient.
- Making all necessary equipment and supplies required during an emergency available in the post-anesthesia unit.