While hospitals are providers of both inpatient and immediate medical care, urgent care facilities cater to patients that only require brief minor treatments. In fact, more individuals have their illnesses diagnosed in urgent care facilities. This amounts to 950 million visits in doctor’s offices per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Urgent care medicine (UCM), otherwise known as the outpatient care setup, refers to overall healthcare services for immediate treatment of severe illnesses and injuries. The close collaboration of UCM specialists and primary physicians ensures the efficiency of medical care in urgent care centers. A recent study, however, has found many medical malpractice cases among UCM providers as well, which warrants the help of experienced Manhattan medical malpractice lawyers.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stated that among the 10,739 resolved malpractice claims, 43% came from patients in outpatient care settings. For both inpatient and outpatient arrangements, the research further discovered that most of these claims resulted in either major trauma or death.
Being perceived as the first line of defense against medical conditions not serious enough to require a visit to the ER, UCM specialists have to be as proficient and versatile as possible to handle the medical emergencies of every patient that walks into their clinics. Since more patients seek UCM than healthcare services in hospitals, authors from the JAMA study explained that it’s more difficult to manage the safety of patients in urgent care rather than in other medical insitutions.
Among the mistakes that outpatient clinicians often commit, research in the JAMA study showed that misdiagnosis or diagnostic errors remain the primary reasons for malpractive claims. Although only a few of theses incidents lead to lawsuits, to err in the assessment of the patient’s condition still means dangerous consequences for the patient’s health. False or erroenous diagnosis makes makes patients lose critical opportunities for recovery, which could have been given if the clinician had done his job responsibly.
Given the complicated circumstances surrounding urgent care medicine, it is crucial to seek a veteran Manhattan medical malpractice attorney like one from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein to guarantee the compensation you deserve. In building the claim, these malpractice lawyers know how to prove that the UCM provider was indeed negligent in evaluating your case.
Medical errors can occur in outpatient settings as well as in hospitals. Washingtonpost.com
What is Urgent Care? Aaucm.org