COVID-19 has placed an inimitable amount of pressure on the health system. In spite of this unparalleled stressful circumstance resulting in seemingly unavoidable decreases in quality care, it is still your right to receive quality healthcare and appropriate treatment.
All you are seeking is quality health care, and you are entitled to expect that a healthcare professional will do everything to make sure you are taken care of per his or her educational and professional training. This philosophy should be all-inclusive across the medical field, yet in the age of COVID-19, making sure that your health is appropriately tended to might be tricky to navigate. Nonetheless, it is not impossible.
What happens to the quality of healthcare during a pandemic? How can you ensure that your health is being tended to when there seems to be a never-ending line of patients during this time? Medical professionals need their rest to ensure their health is taken care of, too. But you also need your health to be taken care of.
Raynes | Erickson understands the importance of putting the needs of clients first. You can avoid being a victim of medical malpractice under these circumstances. What are some steps to ensure that the medical treatment you are receiving during these times is high-quality and up to the legal, expected standards? We will discuss the answers to these very important questions as COVID-19 reels in more cases and continues to increase labor for medical professionals.
What happens to the quality of healthcare during a pandemic? Do we need to be lying on our deathbed in order to receive appropriate medical attention during this time? The answer to that last question is no, nor does it need to get to that point.
In 2015, statistics showed that there were nearly 1.1 million doctors of medicine all over the United States. With over 330 million people in the U.S., the doctor-to-population was at a ratio of 1:300. Yet, it is not wise to assume that an increase in medical attention should automatically result in a decrease in medical quality. In this article about receiving quality healthcare during COVID-19, HMS brings out how the healthcare system is struggling to keep pace with patient needs.
“In most cases,” the article continues, “appointments for preventive care, as well as monitoring of chronic conditions, have been canceled or rescheduled for the second half of the year. This is for the safety of both the patients and the providers. These types of appointments, however, are critically important for maintaining health.”
If you are in a position where you do not have severe health conditions but still want to receive the routine check-ups, let us consider what you can expect from your medical professional during these times.
Certain adjustments are being made to accommodate both patient demands and the reality of what medical professionals can offer. Medical professionals, healthcare providers, and health plans have an obligation to care for the health of their patients. We expect them to support our individual needs even if the needs are non-critical. When it comes to quarantine and sheltering in place, many medical professionals are taking advantage of video calls. While we might desire an in-person visit, that simply might not be the most feasible option during these times.
Rember that medical professionals want to accommodate your needs, but a compromise is vital in order to make this possible within the current limitations we are experiencing. While some lab tests and other diagnostics might require in-person visits to healthcare facilities with specific protocols, if you can receive medical attention via video, it is wise to take advantage and do so.
What are some steps to ensure that the medical treatment you’re receiving during these times is high-quality and up to the legal, expected standards?
It is important to note that medical professionals who are taking advantage of the technological resources to complete their duties should still treat video visits like the real thing. There are specific steps that should be followed to ensure your health needs are being addressed regardless of time constraints or physical limitations.
- Make a List and Prioritize Your Concerns
- Take Information with You to the Doctor
- Consider Having a Family Member Around During the Doctor’s Visit
- Keep Your Doctor Up to Date
- Be Sure You Can See and Hear As Well As Possible
- Request an Interpreter if You Need One
If the quality of health care at baseline is poor, studies show that providers in these circumstances often perform less than half of the most basic elements of a high-quality visit. If you have visited a doctor’s office before, you are most likely aware of certain processes that occur each visit. Even if you are not aware, researching the expectations could help you gauge whether the attention you are receiving is appropriate or not.
The bottom line: You are entitled to receive high-quality care if even for acute conditions.
It is important for people (doctors and patients alike) to consider this: all people should still be receiving high-quality care even if their conditions are minimal in comparison to COVID-19 cases.
Receiving health care that is high-quality and attentive during this pandemic might be difficult, but you are entitled to it nonetheless. If you have questions abou\
t your chances of being a victim of medical malpractice during this COVID-19 era and would like more information about the kind of medical attention you should be receiving versus what you have received, contact Raynes | Erickson today.
Our firm specializes in medical malpractice and we understand that these are critical times for many people especially with health and safety being a priority. By putting your needs first, our team has successfully been able to advocate for some of the largest jury verdicts and settlements in the history of the state of California.
If you or someone you know feels that you might be a victim of medical malpractice, negligence, or failure to diagnose as a result of receiving low-quality healthcare during this pandemic, contact our office for a free, no-obligation, confidential conversation with a member of the firm. We might be able to help.