Hospitals and medical facilities have a number of responsibilities that they need to adhere to in order to keep patients safe. One of those responsibilities concerns the staff they hire. Another is that they need to have clear and concise procedures in place. When a hospital fails to adhere to these responsibilities and a patient is injured or dies as a result, this can be legally deemed medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of negligent medical care provided by a hospital or other medical facility, a medical malpractice lawyer, may be able to get you financial compensation for the losses because of the injuries or illness the negligence caused.
As a medical malpractice attorney can explain to you, hospitals and medical facilities have a responsibility to provide the following for patients:
- Adequate supervision of all staff members
- Hiring properly trained and experienced healthcare providers and medical staff
- Overseeing all medical procedures at the facility
- Properly and safely maintaining all medical equipment and machinery
- Providing a clean and sterile environment
- Repairing and replacing any faulty equipment or machinery
When a hospital or medical facility fails to live up to its responsibility and meet the standards set by the medical community and a patient is injured as a result, then that facility can be liable for medical malpractice. Some of the more common scenarios medical malpractice attorneys handle include:
- Failure to protect a patient’s safety: All hospitals are required to have protocols and procedures in place to ensure the safety of all patients. Some of these protocols include adequate sterilization and sanitation procedures, the proper administration of patient medications, timely updating of patient information and medical files, and fall prevention.
- Poor hiring and firing procedures: Medical facilities are required to hire competent and qualified medical staff. Facilities are also responsible for dismissing or firing healthcare providers or staff members who are unable to fully perform the required duties of their position.
- Inadequate staffing: Hospitals are required to have a certain staff to patient ratio in order to properly care for all patients at their facility. When there is not enough staff to care for patients, the risk of injury or death to a patient is significant.
When a medical facility’s negligence results in a patient’s injury or death, that facility can be legally liable for medical malpractice. There are situations where a healthcare provider who is performing medical procedures at a hospital is not actually an employee of the hospital, though. For example, a surgeon who performs operations at the hospital may not be an employee of the hospital, but instead has his or her own practices and only has hospital privileges. In these situations, the hospital would not be responsible for the surgeon’s negligence and may not be deemed legally liable for medical malpractice.
In order to determine if a doctor or other health care provider is a hospital employee or not, the medical malpractice attorney will examine the following factors:
- Does the healthcare provider choose their own working hours?
- Does the healthcare provider set their own fees or does the hospital set the fees?
- Does the healthcare provider receive a salary from the hospital? If not, how are they paid?
- Does the healthcare provider receive any benefits from the hospital?
- How much control does the hospital have over the healthcare provider