Hospital understaffing has existed as an acknowledged problem in the medical industry for many decades by this point.
Unfortunately, this problem only worsens by the year. On top of that, can it actually lead to an increase in negligence?
The risk of understaffing
Stat states that due to changes over the last couple of years, the healthcare industry continues to be at even greater risk than before. Burnout levels are higher than ever, with fewer people entering the medical field in the first place due to the horror stories they hear.
Unfortunately, studies show that this does in fact tie into negligence in hospitals. The more understaffed a hospital is, the more overworked its remaining employees tend to be. Hospitals simply cannot seem to hire fast enough to keep up with their loss of employees.
How understaffing ties to negligence
When staff gets overworked due to understaffing, the mistakes really start to ramp up. This can include forgetting to check on patients who need frequent oversight, mixing up medications, forgetting to deliver meals, forgetting a patient’s allergy, prescribing the wrong medications and more.
Unfortunately, many of these mistakes can lead to serious injury on the part of the victim. On top of that, virtually every single injury was entirely preventable because it happened due to medical negligence brought on by understaffing.
Though it is understandable for staff to be exhausted due to understaffing, it does not excuse the potential damage that it can cause to patients who rely on them for safety and care.