The Overwhelming Danger of Miscommunication in the Medical Field

Because of all of the complicated health terms there is a big danger of miscommunication in medical field. Read this article to learn more.
Because of all of the complicated health terms there is a big danger of miscommunication in medical field. Read this article to learn more.

Would you be surprised to learn that in America, medical errors are the third leading cause of death each year? These medical errors are often the result of a miscommunication between doctors and patients. 

Clear communication is crucial in understanding one another. It’s necessary for diagnosing illness, and in determining the best course of treatment. 

The danger of miscommunication in the medical field is a serious issue. Some of the most common issues with miscommunication are as follows:

A Miscommunication About the Patient’s Condition

If a patient has difficulty conveying their symptoms, medical staff will be less likely to diagnose the problem. This can lead to untreated illness and injury. 

The importance of clear English in the medical profession, among both patients as well as doctors, is key. When symptoms are not communicated well, a patient receives either inadequate or irrelevant medical care. 

Lack of Sympathy

It’s not uncommon for some patients to have a serious condition that isn’t well communicated to their doctor. As a result, the attending physician is less sympathetic than the situation warrants.

A lack of sympathy can result in a lack of proper care and a tendency to dismiss patients that are suffering from a more serious condition. 

Incomplete Follow-Ups

Incomplete follow-up care is another unfortunate side-effect of a lack of proper communication. Some medical conditions require several follow-up appointments to ensure that disease or illness is fully treated.

If a patient is unable to describe their illness, to begin with, and a misdiagnosis takes place, a follow-up appointment might not ever take place. 

Patient Misunderstandings

When a patient isn’t fluent in English, the doctor’s instruction can be confusing. Specific treatment instructions can become confusing to patients who don’t understand their doctor’s advice.

Patient misunderstandings can lead to misuse of medication or therapy among other issues. This can hinder healing or even lead to additional health problems. 

Inadequate Informed Consent

Informed consent is the process in which a health care provider discloses important information to their patient. The patient can then make informed decisions about their treatment options.

When miscommunication is present, a patient can’t truly give their consent because they might not fully understand what it is they’re consenting to. This happens far too often, leaving many patients feeling regretful.  

An Increase in Anxiety to Visit a Physician 

Some patients feel so uncomfortable with their lack of fluency that they might avoid going to the doctor altogether. This anxiety can lead to an untreated illness that gets worse, which can possibly even lead to eventual death. 

The Danger of Miscommunication in Medical Field — Find Communication Help

Though it’s overwhelming to realize the danger of miscommunication in medical field and some potential pitfalls that might come, there’s good news. You can strengthen your English pronunciation skills and make a big difference in the way others understand you. 

Learn more about how online pronunciation courses work and how they can benefit you in all of your interactions. 

Contact us with any questions or to get started with better pronunciation and improved communication. 


English Pronunciation & Fluency Expert
Annie Ruden M.S.CCC-SLP
CEO | Accent Reduction Trainer
[email protected]

Be Understood. Be Confident.