If you have ever spent time in a doctor’s office or emergency room, you know that wait times can be quite lengthy. Once you finally get to an examination room, there is often another long wait. Then, the doctor rushes in, asks a few questions, and then leaves. This scenario is quite common.
In fact, recent studies show that doctors-in-training are spending shorter amounts of time with their patients. Researchers examined the day-to-day lives of medical interns in multiple facilities over nearly 900 hours of work. They spent time observing doctors performing normal activities including:
- Talking with and examining patients
- Meeting with families
- Attending educational seminars and conferences
- Discussing treatment plans with other doctors
- Eating, sleeping, and walking around the hospital
Researchers found that interns spent about 12 percent of their time—approximately 8 minutes per patient—interacting directly with patients. Several factors may explain why patient contact time is so limited. First, changes in electronic recordkeeping, force interns to spend nearly half of their time documenting case information. In addition, recent laws limit the number of hours a medical student can work on a weekly basis. Decreased patient care by medical students may also be due to increased patient loads, duties such as patient transport, note taking, and reading patient charts.
Reduced face-to-face time with patients increases the risk of improper diagnoses, wrongfully prescribed prescriptions, and improper supervision from attending physicians. If you, or someone you love, suffered a medical error injury, a skilled and experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Lane Brown can help you to understand if you have grounds to take legal action. Contact our law office today at 312-332-1400 to schedule a free case evaluation. We are standing by to help.