Voice assistants: Can they help prevent medical malpractice?

If you enter a Louisiana hospital for surgery or treatment because you are ill or injured, you must entrust your health to a team of licensed medical caregivers. The doctor or surgeon attending your case is in charge. Have you ever thought about how tired doctors get when they have been working long hours and trying to take care of multiple patients at once?

Doctor fatigue, or worse, career burnout is a serious issue. In fact, many medical workers say overwork and shortage of staff is often the reasons they make mistakes. Many people say advanced technology, in particular voice assistants, can not only help doctors be more productive but may also reduce the number of medical malpractice cases by lessening doctor fatigue. No technology can fully protect you from medical negligence, which is why it's good to know where to seek support if a problem arises.

Part of the problem and possible solutions

When you're in the hospital, your doctor will likely pay numerous visits to your room. During such visits, you will have conversations and he or she may medically examine you to check your progress or to form a diagnosis. Behind the scenes, doctors have to spend a lot of time logging information into computer systems.

In fact, some analysts estimate that for every hour your doctor spends with a patient, he or she must then spend two more hours on a computer. This perpetual schedule often leads to serious fatigue and burnout on the job. A tired doctor is far more likely to be negligent than one who has gotten adequate rest. Voice assistant technology can 'listen' to your doctor while he or she talks about your condition, then automatically enter pertinent information into the computer system.

Less computer time leaves more time to focus and rest

If your doctor uses a voice assistant, there might not be a need to spend two hours on the computer every time you have a consultation or examination. The idea is that by using this type of technology, doctors or other medical workers will have a lot more time to rest, which can lessen fatigue and possibly help prevent incidents of negligence in the workplace.

If you suffer a medical injury

You're not responsible for making sure your doctor gets eight hours of sleep. In fact, you're not responsible for anything your doctor or other medical team members say or do while you're in their care. There are state laws and accepted standards of safety to govern medical workers' behavior. Every worker is legally obligated to adhere to regulations.

If a doctor fails in his or her fiduciary duty to keep you as safe as possible and you suffer illness or injury because of it, it might constitute medical negligence. Many Louisiana patients have sought justice through the civil court system to seek financial accountability against medical workers whose negligence caused them physical, emotional or economic damages.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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Baton Rouge, LA 70809

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