Pitfalls in bedside manner can lead to malpractice lawsuits, as patients can feel disrespected or ignored. When health care providers are rude or dismissive to patients, it can shatter trust and cause serious medical errors. In some cases, poor bedside manner may cause injury or death.
Preventing these kinds of lawsuits is critical for both patients and health care providers. However, improving bedside manner is not always easy. It requires time and effort to change long-standing habits and attitudes. But it is worth it, as better bedside manner can lead to happier patients, safer hospitals, and fewer malpractice lawsuits.
This article will explore bedside manners and how poor doctoring or caregiving habits can lead to malpractice. It will also offer tips on improving bedside manner to prevent these suits from happening.
What Is Bedside Manner and Why Is It Important?
Bedside manner refers to how a Philadelphia doctor, nurse, or other health care provider interacts with a patient. It matters how they interact because it can affect the patient’s experience and how well they understand medical information. Many studies have shown that a reasonable bedside manner can improve patient satisfaction, treatment compliance, and health outcomes.
Poor bedside manner, on the other hand, can lead to misunderstandings, frustration, and even medical errors. In some cases, poor bedside manner may even lead to a Pennsylvania malpractice lawsuit. This is why it is so important for doctors and nurses to always be professional and courteous when interacting with patients.
How Can Poor Bedside Manner Lead To Malpractice Lawsuits?
It is no secret that poor bedside manner can lead to malpractice lawsuits, as we’ve previously discussed. A study presented by the American Journal of Medical Quality stated that “some patients regress to childhood needs” under the stress of anxiety and physical illness. Physicians are not generally trained to fill such needs. Thus, these patients, angry because of this, express their anger by filing malpractice suits. Physicians who understand and can respond appropriately to the emotional needs of their patients are less likely to be sued.
When health care providers do not take the time to explain and communicate thoroughly, their patients are left confused and worried. This can cause patients to make poor decisions about their health, which can lead to more severe health problems down the road. In some cases, this may even lead to their wrongful death.
In other cases we’ve handled here at Shrager & Sachs, our attorneys have seen where a poor bedside manner can cause a Philadelphia patient’s injury or death. For example, if a doctor dismisses a patient’s concerns without thoroughly investigating them, they may misdiagnose their condition. This can lead to delayed treatment, which can be dangerous or even deadly.
It is also important to remember that bedside manner is not just about how doctors speak to patients but also how physicians treat them. Doctors that do not show empathy or respect for their patients may make them feel disrespected and ignored. This can make patients feel like they are not being heard or that their concerns are unimportant. Sometimes, this can lead to patients leaving a doctor’s care and seeking treatment elsewhere, then taking legal action against the medical provider.
What Are Some of the Pitfalls of Bedside Manner?
One of the most common mistakes that medical professionals in Pennsylvania can make is inadvertently acting condescendingly toward or dismissing a patient’s concerns. This can also make patients feel unheard or ignored, making them less likely to follow medical advice.
Additionally, bedside manner is often culturally specific, and what may be considered polite in one culture may be seen as disrespectful in another. As such, medical professionals must be mindful of cultural differences when interacting with patients.
Finally, bedside manner can also be affected by fatigue or stress. Medical professionals who are tired or stressed may be more likely to snap at or be short with patients, damaging the doctor-patient relationship.
Bedside manner is an integral part of the health care field in Philadelphia, and medical professionals must be aware of its potential pitfalls.
How Better Bedside Manners Benefit Both Patients and Health Care Providers
One study recently published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology reinforces how better bedside manners can lead to reduced malpractice lawsuits. Another study highlighted how patients who felt their doctors had suitable bedside manner were less likely to sue for medical malpractice. Better bedside manners can lead to improved patient satisfaction and trust, which may, in turn, lead to reduced malpractice lawsuits.
There are several reasons why better bedside manners may lead to reduced malpractice lawsuits:
- Patients who feel satisfied with their care are less likely to sue.
- When patients trust their doctors, they are less likely to think that their physician made a mistake that resulted in injury.
- Patients who feel comfortable communicating with their physician are more likely to tell the doctor about any concerns before a potential lawsuit arises.
Better bedside manners benefit both patients and health care providers. Patients receive better care and feel more satisfied with their experience. At the same time, health care providers reduce their risk of being sued for malpractice. When everyone benefits, it’s a win-win situation.
Where To Turn if Poor Bedside Manner Has Resulted in an Adverse Health Outcome
Experiencing poor bedside manner from a doctor can be frustrating and even scary. If you feel that your doctor has been negligent or has caused you harm, you can do a few things.
First, try to talk to the doctor about your concerns. If the problem persists, you can file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine. Finally, if you feel you have been injured or become increasingly ill due to poor bedside manner or malpractice, you can consult with a lawyer here at our Philadelphia law firm Shrager & Sachs to discuss your legal options.
Poor bedside manner can lead to severe consequences for patients and health care providers. By understanding the potential problems bedside manner can cause, we can work to improve the doctor-patient relationship and reduce the risk of malpractice. Contact our Philadelphia law firm for a free case evaluation today.