Hospitals are places built around the promise and practice of patient care. While facilities across Arizona rise to this, they may sometimes fall short, causing a patient to suffer an injury, illness or even death.
A medical facility may become complacent in the care of patients. In these cases, the facility and those within it may become liable for injuries and illnesses to patients. Learn how a medical facility may face liability in medical malpractice cases.
An employee commits malpractice
The hospital employs hundreds if not thousands of employees. Nurses are responsible for almost every facet of patient care. When something happens to a patient due to a nurse’s negligence, the hospital often becomes liable. Some common nursing errors that result in malpractice include:
- Dispensing too much or too little medication
- Charting errors that result in allergic interactions or illness
- Utilizing unsanitary medical equipment
The hospital’s liability may extend to fatigue-related incidents if nurses work too many shifts in a short time.
A contract employee is repeatedly negligent
Unlike nurses, doctors are usually independent contractors. This often separates their liability from that of the hospital when a patient becomes hurt or ill because of negligence. However, there is an exception to this standard. If the hospital knew or should have known that a contract doctor repeatedly commits errors and the hospital did nothing to stop it, it creates liability for the facility. Since the hospital should have acted to stop the doctor from continuing to practice in the facility and did not, it makes the facility negligent for patient harm. The hospital may be liable for the doctor if the patient had no way of knowing that the doctor was an independent contractor. If the patient did not have an opportunity to choose the doctor providing care (for example, a radiologist that the patient never met who read x-rays, an ER doctor), the hospital may be liable.
Hospital negligence may come in a variety of forms. The most common involve staff who do not follow proper protocol when taking care of patients. A medical negligence attorney can review your potential case to determine who may be at fault.