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How Nurses Can Reduce Unnecessary Medical Care


There are many cases in which doctors engage in substandard care. They may not do enough to properly diagnose a patient, causing them to suffer from a worsened condition, injuries, or even death.

Because of this, some doctors go a little too far with medical care. They may order tests or write prescriptions that are not necessary. This can negatively impact patient care as well.

This is known as overuse, or unnecessary medical care. For every $1 spent on healthcare, 25 cents are spent on redundant, poorly coordinated care. This medical care does not help patients and may even hurt them.

The good news is that nurses can help reduce and prevent overuse. That’s because nurses provide the majority of direct hands-on patient care. Instead, they can also promote clinical decision making that reduces resources.

Doctors frequently give redundant or even erroneous orders. Nurses should be proactive and question them to reduce the risk of wasteful, low-value care. Overuse can also affect the patient by increasing treatment costs and requiring additional patient treatments.

Overtreatment at the end of life is especially common. Nurses need to think about the patient’s wishes and instead of “doing everything,” they need to provide treatment that will make the patient more comfortable.

Waste and overuse affects nurses, causing moral issues and burnout. Nurses are often placed in the middle of care situations. They are made responsible for both the implementation of care plans as well as the overall patient experience. They are ordered to execute redundant care orders and address patient frustration. Instead, they can prevent overuse and save money — money that could be better spent improving working conditions and staffing for nurses.

Unnecessary Medical Care and Medical Malpractice

Unnecessary medical care can turn into a serious issue like medical malpractice in a couple ways. For example, tests, surgeries, and other medical procedures that are performed without the patient’s full understanding of the risks involved may amount to medical malpractice. A patient could prevail in such a claim if they can show that they would not have consented to the medical procedure had they known about the risks involved.

Also, if a patient receives unnecessary medical treatment based on substandard care, the staff involved could be liable for any resulting injuries since there was no informed consent. Informed consent requires that a patient understand the procedure and risks involved.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Nursing License Lawyer

People tend to trust nurses. As such, nurses can do their part to reduce waste and unnecessary medical care.

Nurses need to stay ethical. They need to engage in clinical decision making that helps the patient. It has to do with moderation. Have questions about your nursing license? Seek legal help from a Tampa nursing license lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633.