A study published in December 2018 has shown that electronic health records, despite their advantages, can sometimes contribute to safety errors in medicine. Hawaii residents, especially those with children who take medication, should take note that EHR issues are behind an estimated 50 percent of all pediatric safety errors.
Children in Hawai'i who have been diagnosed with brain cancer may have a reason for additional testing following discoveries made by research scientists. According to researchers, some children with rare pediatric brain tumors have been misdiagnosed with one type of cancer when they actually have another. Scientists found that when these tumors' molecular profiles were examined using newly developed technologies, they were found to be far different than they originally appeared. The type of tumor in question, called a CNS-PNET, was traditionally diagnosed based on where it was found in the brain as well as how it appeared under a microscope.
When someone in Hawaii shows signs of dementia, it's common to assume it may be Alzheimer's disease. Sometimes what's assumed to be Alzheimer's is another form or dementia known as Lewy body dementia, or LBD. Receiving a correct diagnosis is important because there are key differences in how each of these conditions is treated. With medications, for instance, people with LBD might respond better to certain dementia drugs than individuals with Alzheimer's.
Anyone in Hawaii who has suffered from West Nile virus is likely familiar with the symptoms of fevers, headaches and body tremors. In serious cases, however, the virus can cause the brain and spinal cord to become inflamed, sending the victim to the hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that there is no specific vaccine or antiviral treatment for West Nile. But those with a mild form can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications or fever reducers.
Hawaii residents who are about to schedule a doctor's examination or undergo surgery will want to avoid an afternoon visit, if possible. There are several good reasons for doing so, the first being that doctors and nurses, like other workers, experience what's called the afternoon slump. Fatigue sets in around 2 pm and 3 pm, which means decreased attention and productivity and, with it, an increased risk for medical mistakes.
A new study has found that over half of doctors in Hawaii and the rest of the United States are suffering from workplace burnout. Unfortunately, this makes them more likely to commit medical errors. The study was published July 9 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
In a letter sent to Congress on May 9, three large healthcare organizations, including the AMA and American Health Information Management Association, petitioned representatives to aid the private sector in adopting safe and secure electronic exchange of health information. Specifically, these stakeholders are urging Congress to include language in appropriations deals for health, education, labor and other departments to deal with costly patient matching problems arising from electronic record errors.
Mobile health applications may help Hawaii doctors make more accurate medical diagnoses, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The study was conducted by researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One of the many types of healthcare professionals in Hawaii and the rest of the country who can be sued for malpractice is the nurse practitioner. Any failure of a nurse practitioner to remain within their scope of practice results in liability. However, doctors can take certain steps to limit the number of malpractice claims filed against the nurse practitioners who work in their practice.
Misdiagnosis and medical mistakes may be some of the most concerning thoughts for people in Hawai'i when they enter the hospital. In fact, the largest single source of medical malpractice claims filed throughout the United States are diagnostic errors, according to study of claims between 2013 and 2017. Produced by a malpractice insurer, the report noted that 33 percent of claims filed were about mistakes made when diagnosing the patient, including failure to diagnose serious illnesses or misdiagnosis of an existing illness.