Can a friendly chat a day keep the doctor errors away?

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Jul 20, 2012 in Doctor Errors

Poor communication can cause serious problems in any setting or context. In a marriage, it can lead to divorce. At work, it may get you fired. As significant as those consequences are, they pale in comparison to what poor communication can mean in a health care setting. Here, a failure to communicate or a miscommunication between doctors, nurses or other staff members can have dire and even deadly consequences for patients at any West Virginia facility.

Yet even though the link between poor communication and medical malpractice has been clear for many years, the problem persists. This is partly due to the fact that most doctors tend to communicate with one another by fax or pager to make sure they remain in compliance with patient privacy laws.

To their credit, members of the medical community have continued to look for ways to eliminate the problem and improve communication between health care facilities and professionals alike. Some of those efforts have resulted in incremental but nonetheless positive changes. Others have not. Few, however, have shown the promise of Doximity, a new social networking site designed specifically for health care professionals.

LinkedIn co-founder and Doximity board member Konstantin Guericke says the network can help doctors become more connected with one another, communicate more rapidly and directly, and collaborate more easily to improve the overall quality of patient care, save lives and minimize their risks of committing medical malpractice.

One particularly important feature of both the website and the Doximity mobile app allows doctors to send each other information in encrypted messages that comply with HIPPA and other patient privacy requirements.

Source: CNBC, "Doctors' Social Network Can Help Save Lives: LinkedIn Co-Founder," Cadie Thompson, July 5, 2012

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