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How might understaffing in hospitals affect patient care?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

While visiting a medical facility for treatment can be a daunting process, it could also prove integral to addressing health concerns and protecting your well-being. However, there may be some scenarios in which the treatment you receive at a facility might not live up to the acceptable standard of care. 

One issue that could have a significant impact on patient care could involve staffing shortages in Delaware hospitals. Understaffing can create various types of patient safety hazards, and the outcome of such medical negligence could place your health at substantial risk. 

What are the risks? 

Lack of adequate staffing is a type of negligence that can prompt various challenges to patient care. Some examples of risks involved with understaffing may include: 

  • Diagnostic delays: Obtaining a swift diagnosis can be integral to treating any health condition. Studies indicate that staffing shortages can lead to significant delays in the diagnostic process.  
  • Treatment delays: Understaffing can cause patients to go long stints without attention or care. Delays in treatment remain one of the most prevalent causes of injury in the medical field. 
  • Quality of care: Staffing shortages can also diminish the quality of care patients receive. Failure to provide a certain standard of care can prompt many patient health concerns. 
  • Overworked staff: Similar concerns could also cause staff members to feel burnt out and overworked, affecting their ability to care for patients or address complex health issues. 
  • Surgical concerns: There are also a variety of risks involved with understaffing among surgical teams. Delays in procedures and inadequate post-surgical care could pose a dire threat to your well-being. 

Staffing shortages could also lead to delays in patient transfers or specialist referrals, both of which could also place the health and safety of patients in jeopardy. 

Understaffing and medical negligence 

This may only include a few examples of how understaffing could lead to issues with medical negligence. Such issues could diminish the patient care experience and place you at risk of suffering severe or life-altering harm. While there might not always be much you can do to keep similar issues at bay, there may be specific steps to help protect your future interests and pursue the total amount of restitution you deserve should the unthinkable occur.