New York City Failure to Obtain Patient Information Lawyer
Medicine is an art as well as a science. A list of symptoms could lead to several different diagnoses, and there may be more than one way to treat an illness. To make the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment that will be both safe and effective, doctors have to proceed with the best and most complete information they are able to obtain. Much of this information may already be contained in the patient’s chart or medical records. More recent information must be drawn from the patient personally or the results of recent tests.
Treating a patient without first obtaining necessary information is a form of medical malpractice. In New York City, Michael Gunzburg, P.C. holds doctors and hospitals accountable for patient injuries based on a failure to obtain patient information. If you were harmed by a doctor’s or hospital’s medical mistake in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens, call Michael Gunzburg, P.C. for a no-cost, confidential consultation with a compassionate and dedicated New York medical negligence attorney.
A Differential Diagnosis Is Essential to Effective Treatment
Doctors make their diagnoses based on the symptoms presented by the patient, the physician’s medical exam of the patient, and any tests the doctor orders or performs. The course of treatment flows from the diagnosis and typically doesn’t change unless the patient’s condition doesn’t improve or worsens, prompting the doctor to revisit the initial diagnosis and perhaps order more tests or call in a specialist.
The gold standard of any diagnostic assessment involves performing what is called a differential diagnosis. The same symptoms can often indicate a range of different underlying medical conditions. For instance, chest pain could indicate heartburn, a broken rib, pneumonia, anxiety or a heart attack. By taking a complete medical history, performing a physical exam, conducting diagnostic tests, and consulting specialists as needed, the doctor narrows down the most likely diagnoses, rules out the most serious, life-threatening or time-sensitive ailments, and arrives at a working diagnosis that forms the basis for a course of treatment.
Doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics, and emergency rooms can be crowded places, and doctors and nurses sometimes rush through the diagnostic process in order to see all the patients in the waiting room that day. However, failing to go through the process of differential diagnosis can be a negligent medical mistake with serious and even deadly consequences for the patient.
Obtaining Complete Patient Information Is Crucial to Patient Safety
Obtaining complete patient information is a crucial step in the diagnostic process and is also critical to prescribing a treatment that won’t harm the patient due to specific allergies or other complications. Before prescribing any medications or recommending (or performing) any procedures, the doctor should obtain all the following information from the patient:
- Known or suspected drug allergies
- Medications the patient is on, so any drug interactions can be considered
- The patient’s health history, including prior surgeries, illnesses and chronic conditions
- The results of previous diagnoses or lab tests
When you go to the doctor, you might be able to describe your symptoms, but you might not know what other information the doctor needs to know in order to diagnose you accurately and treat you effectively. It’s up to the doctor to know the right questions to ask and to, in fact, ask them. If you were mistreated or harmed because the doctor failed to obtain complete patient information, you have a claim against that doctor or hospital for medical malpractice. In New York City, Michael Gunzburg, P.C. can help determine whether you have a strong case for malpractice and help you hold the doctor’s office accountable for their failures and the harm they caused.
Hold New York City Doctors Accountable for Injuries Caused by Failure to Obtain Complete Patient Information
If you’ve been hurt by a medical error in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens, call Michael Gunzburg, P.C. at 212-725-8500 for a free consultation.