While most medical providers are attentive to the needs of their patients, sometimes circumstances arise where the providers appear to place profits ahead of a patient's well-being. Recently there were reports that the Massachusetts General Hospital scheduled multiple surgical procedures in a manner that surgeons were scheduled to perform procedures on two separate patients at the same time. Apparently patients undergoing these surgeries were also unaware of such a policy.
The double bookings reportedly involved mostly complex and elective surgeries. The bookings often involved a number of hours. While the procedures were ongoing, there were reportedly periods of time where trainees were left with the patient without surgeon coverage, and the patients sometimes were under anesthesia while awaiting the arrival of the surgeon. Obviously the quality of care provided will suffer when a schedule requires physicians operate on two separate patients at the same time.
While this practice had been ongoing for a number of years, there was apparently concern among physicians pertaining to such a policy. When one surgeon at the facility reported this practice to the press, this same doctor apparently lost his job for allegedly being a disruptive physician.
At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Cariglia, P.C., in Worcester, we know of a significant numbers of medical malpractice cases related to cancer misdiagnosis, birth injuries, medication errors and delays in treatment. A policy such as the one mentioned above ultimately can result in shortcuts in the medical care for patients. Under such circumstances, the surgeons possibly are overworked and are not paying sufficient attention to one particular patient at a time. We fight against any sort of practice that allows for medical mistakes to occur in even greater frequency.
Source: Medscape Multispecialty, "The Wrongness of a Doctor Being in Two Places at Once," John Mandrola, Oct. 29, 2015