Ineffective Doctor-Patient Communication Leading to Ohio Medical Malpractice May 3, 2012.

Doctor-patient communication is essential for successful health management. It’s up to the physician to ensure that the patient understands courses of treatment. Failure to do so can lead to various misunderstandings and sometimes to medical malpractice claims.

When a doctor discusses a patient’s health it’s up to that physician to discuss all the details with the patient in a way the patient will be able to understand and follow whether it is:

  • a course of treatment;
  • test results;
  • prescriptions; or
  • other important information.

Unfortunately, many doctors today are so busy and distracted that they can rush through appointments and neglect to give all their patients their full attention. In some cases, this can cause a patient to be misinformed and lead to dangerous medical errors.

For example, if a physician fails to properly explain the correct way for a patient to take a pharmaceutical drug or does not explain the risks of a certain course of treatment then these types of errors can cause pain, illness, and even death.

Not every mishap in doctor-patient communication can be classified as medical malpractice; sometimes there are honest misunderstandings. However, there are times when a doctor, because of carelessness, distraction, or other reasons, fails to provide the patient with the acceptable standard of care, which may warrant a claim with the strong evidence to back it up.