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Are delayed diagnoses common in understaffed hospitals?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2021 | Hospital Negligence |

Modern hospitals face many hurdles that can cause big problems over time. Of these issues, overworked staffs and understaffed shifts often make up some of the riskiest environments.

What sort of issues happen in hospitals that have these problems? And is there anything that can change to better these issues?

True impacts of understaffed hospitals

The National Center for Biotechnology Information discusses how overworked and understaffed hospitals make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes can have detrimental effects on patients. In severe cases, a patient’s life may even end up jeopardized due to said issues.

Delayed diagnoses are one of these potentially risky developments. A delayed diagnosis occurs when a patient undergoes testing but their primary issue is not detected or tested for in an appropriate amount of time. Because of this delay, the victim’s overall health and the outcome of their treatment suffer significantly. An example may include someone suffering from cancer not getting treatment in time to stop it from metastasizing.

Why do these issues happen?

In a hospital where staff gets overworked, this means no one is at the top of their game. A doctor could easily overlook something that might point them in the right direction in regard to what they should test for. It is easy to potentially misread charts or test results, too. This can lead medical staff off the correct course and further delay appropriate diagnosis. It is even possible to lose lab or test results and delay a diagnosis that way.

It is the goal of many to fix the problem of overworking and understaffing hospitals. Unfortunately, no one has come up with a universal solution to this issue yet. At best, hospitals must tackle it on their own, seeing what works best for their unique environment and staff.