There are many factors that go in to deciding whether or not a patient is ready to be discharged.
Often times, patients can have a say in when they leave the hospital by telling their doctor how they've been feeling after treatment. A quick "Doc, I'm feeling much better now!" can have an impact on whether or not that patient is discharged or has a longer stay in the hospital.
This reminds us: take control of your health by speaking up about what goes on in the hospital! You have a say...and often times this can help your doctor pinpoint the right time for you to be discharged.
That's not always an option for serious medical conditions, however.
We have seen cases where a patient was discharged before his physician reviewed an important MRI, or before consulting with a specialist, or before arriving at a diagnosis for the patient's serious symptoms - shortness of breath and chest pain in one case.
Unfortuantely, patients have had unnecessary surgeries, had physicians who gave them the wrong information about their treatment and medications, and worse, doctors who removed the wrong body part during surgery. And we know that medical malpractice happens more frequently than most people realize.
Having a patient advocate who can speak up and ask your doctor and hospital personnel tough questions is a good start. But it is up to your hospital, HMO, doctors and nurses to follow established patient safety rules to keep you and other patients safe.
And when it comes to discharging you from the hospital, the doctor has the ultimate say.
Remember, if the choices the doctors and nurses make in the hospital fall below the standard of care and you were harmed as a result, then your early discharge may mean medical malpractice. And if your child was harmed due to medical malpractice, Picking Up The Pieces After Medical Malpractice: A Parent's Guide can be a great resource, and we're offering it for free. You can order this FREE book on our website or give us a call to order today!
With doctors, nurses and hospitals extremely busy, a patient can be discharged too early if there isn't a system in place to make sure the doctor has reviewed all the test results, consults with specialists and arranged follow up care.
If you think you are your loved one were discharged from a D.C. hospital too early and have suffered serious medical complications as a result, call us at 202-393-3320. Our attorneys can give you specific advice about your particular issue.