When you head in for surgery, you expect that your doctor has been properly trained, has gotten enough sleep and is fully competent in order to carry out the surgery.
What you might not realize, however, if you are the patient, is that your doctor may be booked for more than one procedure at a time.
You might ask yourself, how this is even possible when a physician is assigned to responsible for a particular procedure?
But unfortunately, this trend of double booked surgeries is becoming increasingly popular as there are more demands put on physicians.
When This is Most Likely to Happen
Some hospitals might put a priority on finishing as many procedures as possible and therefore encourage physicians to double book themselves.
What this means is that your physician may actually be responsible for another procedure in a separate room while also being listed as the primary person in your procedure.
Regardless of where it happens, it can be dangerous for patients, especially if the patient has no reason to believe that the doctor will be working in more than one location during the same time period.
What is a Double-Booked Surgery?
He or she may be shuttling back and forth between two rooms or perhaps giving instructions to someone else in charge of the surgery. But either way, this could lead to medical malpractice where you, the patient, are the one who suffers.
It’s always a good idea to be clear about your surgeon’s schedule before you go into any operating room. Although you might not be aware of it, this behavior of double booked surgeries is happening in hospitals across Florida and around the country.
Recent recommendations by the American College of Surgeons indicate that patients should always be informed in the event that the surgeon has been listed as responsible on more than one procedure at any given time.
While these guidelines certainly serve as an important benchmark for what should happen in hospitals around the country, since they are not legally binding, this leaves it up to the discretion of the individual hospital.
This means that as a patient, you might not even realize that your physician is scheduled to be in two places at once.
Why Double-Booked Surgeries Are Making Headlines Now
These guidelines came into existence after a Boston Globe investigation revealed that some staff members at Massachusetts General Hospital have reported that overlapping operations were putting patients at risk of medical malpractice.
This behavior is increasingly popular in teaching hospitals where someone going through fellowship training, for example, might be involved to carry out a particular part of a procedure while a lead surgeon moves on to the next surgery.
Government guidelines do have specific rules associated with these procedures, but this is only when this is governed by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
Under these guidelines, a patient must be informed if a surgeon has been listed as responsible for an overlapping procedure.
These guidelines also recommend that it could be dangerous for a surgeon to be involved in concurrent surgeries where the key or critical components of that individual procedure are overlapping at the same time.
While the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services prohibit overlapping any critical parts of these procedures, there are no legally binding guidelines in place yet for hospitals serving patients outside of those particular programs.
If you discover that your surgeon is double booked during the time when you are supposed to be receiving surgery, it is good to raise these concerns sooner rather than later.
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Consultation with an Experienced Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Attorney
In the event that you believe you have already been a victim of medical malpractice, investigating who was in the room at the time of the actual procedure and whether or not these doctors were there for the entire time could become an important piece of evidence in the event that you are filing for compensation as a result of your injuries.
If you need help from an experienced attorney, consult with a knowledgeable Jacksonville medical malpractice attorney today.
Curious about other medical malpractice issues that might happen in the hospital? See: http://www.jaxlegal.com/2015/09/23/5-horrible-reasons-why-emergency-room-errors-happen/