Understaffing is a serious challenge in the healthcare sector. This is in part the result due to a shortage of qualified healthcare providers. But it can happen when the hospital willfully keeps its workforce down to reduce its wage bill.
Unfortunately, this cost management effort can put lives at risk and set the stage for costly lawsuits should patients suffer injuries. If you or someone you love suffers injuries at the hands of a healthcare provider, it is important that you pursue damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
2 ways understaffing can endanger lives
Understaffing, especially of doctors and nurses, can lead to patient injuries that can, in turn, amount to medical malpractice in the following ways:
Poor patient treatment and monitoring
Some of the key responsibilities of healthcare providers are diagnosing, treating and monitoring how patients are responding to care. Nurses are also responsible for administering medication, documenting and reporting patients’ progress to the physicians.
When a healthcare provider has too many patients to attend to, they may have a hard time ensuring that every patient receives the care they need when they should. As a result, they may fail to notice changes in the patient’s condition leading to injuries.
Healthcare providers have a duty to double-check to be sure that each patient receives the right medication at the right time and in the right dosage. However, when a healthcare provider is overwhelmed and, thus, fatigued, mistakes are bound to happen. And if they do, the consequences to the patient can be devastating. From dosage errors to administering the wrong medication and skipping medications, these forms of medical malpractice can have serious effects on the patient’s recovery process. Some (like drug overdose) may even lead to death.
A single incident of medical malpractice can result in life-altering injuries. Find out how you can safeguard your rights while pursuing a medical malpractice claim.