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How do delayed diagnoses happen?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

In a modern hospital setting, it is possible to run into hurdles that could potentially create large problems for staff and patients alike. This includes understaffed shifts and overworked staff.

In hospitals with such problems, what issues often happen? And what, if anything, can change or improve in order to reduce these issues?

What is a delayed diagnosis?

NCBI discusses delayed diagnoses in hospital settings. Delayed diagnoses involve a medical professional giving an accurate diagnosis of an ailment or illness at a much slower rate than they otherwise should have gotten it to the patient. This can lead to major issues, especially in cases where catching and treating the illness early has a huge impact on the victim’s overall survivability.

Many of these issues happen because of hospitals with overworked staff, or with understaffed shifts. Unfortunately, fewer people than ever want to enter into the medical industry due to the huge struggles and lack of support that medical professionals face every day. On top of that, hospitals often need to have a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week sort of care system due to the fact that medical emergencies do not wait for business hours.

The problem with understaffed hospitals

This can lead to staff not having enough people to fill their shifts fully. This leads to their existing staff having to cover longer shifts or more shifts in a row. In some hospitals, staff does not even go home between shifts. They simply take naps in the break room for a few hours before getting back to work.

But overworked and understaffed hospitals also have a much higher rate of errors like delayed diagnoses. This can potentially cost patients their lives, which is why alleviating the pressure on the system is so crucial.