Just read a great post by Eric Turkewitz, How Medical Malpractice Gets Covered Up, that discusses an anonymous blog post by an obstetrical nurse who is baring the truth about how malpractice is actively covered up and how medical providers are pressured to cover one another’s butts by not accurately charting what is REALLY going on in a patient’s care. Here’s a clip from the post:

Ever wonder how malpractice gets covered up or why it doesn’t appear in the medical records? Well, an anonymous obstetrical nurse from Pennsylvania opened that little door for us today.

Writing at the blog At Your Cervix (perhaps one of the most creative medical blog names around), she writes how she was reprimanded for documenting in the medical chart the name of a covering doctor that had reviewed the external fetal monitor strip. You read that right: Folks were actually mad at her for being accurate with her notes and writing down in the chart who had reviewed important information regarding the patient.

When I first started handling medical malpractice cases, I was naive enough to believe that no one would ever intentionally alter medical records. Sad to say it occurs quite frequently.

A recent post from my friend, Jim Carroll, a medical malpractice attorney from Athens, PA, highlighted a recent case of altered records from Wilkes-Barre, PA:

A doctor accused of failing to tell a patient she had cancer is now being accused of altering medical records in the case to try to cover up his error. Court papers say Dr. Feroz A. Sheikh altered the records of Margaret Radginski after she filed suit against him late last year. The doctor is accused of altering his records to show that he told his patient that she had cancer a year before the date that he truly told her that she had cancer.

Bad, bad, bad. Why can’t people just play by the rules and not cheat? Well, unfortunately, the answer is that the stakes are so high, both from an economic and career perspective, that medical providers feel the need to cheat to cover their butts at the expense of the truth and their own patients. Sad but true…

Think this is an exaggeration? How about a recent Harvard study that found that 46% of doctors were aware a serious medical error that they did NOT report that error to authorities.

Hmmmm, and people wonder why we talk about the Medical Conspiracy of Silence….

Thanks for reading,

Jim Reed