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Doctor error worsened by psychological fear of admitting it

Medical mistakes are viewed as a major factor in people suffering a worsened medical condition and death in Connecticut. But, research is ongoing to examine every aspect to determine ways to reduce its frequency.

One problem is the failure of the medical professionals to admit to the mistake. This will compound a doctor error or error of other medical staff. For those who have been negatively affected by a medical mistake, knowing about the reluctance of medical professionals to admit they did something wrong can be a key to a case to receive compensation.

Medical errors are believed to cause as many as a quarter of a million deaths every year. There are guidelines that medical professionals are supposed to adhere to after a known or possible error, but psychological aspects can get in the way.

A new study states that improved education and a greater focus on breaking down psychological barriers can help to encourage medical professionals to disclose errors. And, these admissions can improve outcomes by lowering the mistakes and stopping long-term damage, if a mistake has been made.

Medical professionals may fear scrutiny, sanctions and damage to their reputations, as a reason to avoid admitting to a mistake. This is exacerbated with the internet and the speed at which information -- fair or not -- can be shared.

There are certain factors that the authors concentrated on, including Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) and Forecasting Error (FE). FAE overestimates a person's role in a case. FE overestimates the impact.

The authors of the study recommend that having a standard for people in the process of being trained for a medical career in which they will not run away from their mistakes. But, confrontation can be beneficial.

These tactics to stop medical professionals from shunning their responsibility can be helpful in the future. But, it is also important for those who believe they or a loved one was harmed by misdiagnosis or some other doctor error to understand the mentality that prevents the admitting of a mistake. With that in mind, it is vital to have legal help to investigate a case in which medical malpractice is suspected. Calling an attorney experienced in these situations is essential.

Source: Claims Journal, "Study: Admitting Mistakes Key to Curbing Medical Errors," May 23, 2017

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