Whenever it’s necessary for you or a loved one to receive medical care in a hospital, you’re trusting that the facility and their staff are operating with your best outcome in mind. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Occasionally, it happens that a patient is harmed during their hospital stay, and often one of the first questions they have is if they’ve been the victim of hospital negligence.
Establishing hospital negligence isn’t always as straightforward as many people believe. There are specific instances when the hospital is responsible and also times when they are not. To help you better understand your patient rights, here is a brief guide to knowing when the hospital is at fault.
What Is Hospital Negligence?
Hospital negligence is defined as when the hospital administration or its employees conduct themselves in an improper manner that leads to medical malpractice. It’s important to note that in this case, “hospital employee” refers to staff that is directly
employed by the hospital – for example, nurses or technicians. Rarely is a physician considered to be a hospital employee, and therefore any damages that occur due to their improper care generally aren’t considered to be hospital negligence, but rather medical malpractice against the physician themselves.
Hospital negligence occurs when an employee of the hospital acts in an irresponsible or incompetent way that results in harm to a patient. Hospitals are also responsible for the quality of their staffing at all times. They may be found negligent if they failed to provide adequate staffing which compromised the patient’s well being or if they knowingly hired or continued to employee a negligent or unqualified staff member.
To prove negligence on the hospital’s part, there are three criteria that must be met. These include:
The hospital in some way violated the standard of patient care
The patient was injured or harmed as a result of the violated of standard care
The patient must be able to show that they suffered significant damages as a result of the hospital’s negligence
Examples of Negligence in a Hospital Setting
Hospital negligence can take many forms. For example, a patient may fall on a slippery surface or suffer from a secondary infection due to insufficient sanitary procedures. Likewise, a patient may suffer consequences from a nurse administering the wrong medication or the wrong dose.
As you can see, hospital negligence covers a wide range of actions that fail to meet the basic standard of care. A few of the most common examples of negligence in a hospital setting include:
Misreading or ignoring medical reports
Failure to take in a complete and appropriate patient history
Failure to order the proper testing
Failure to diagnose a treat to the patient’s health, including the failure to recognize symptoms
Ordering unnecessary procedures
Improper medication administration
Failure to provide adequate follow up care
What Should You Do If You Suspect Hospital Negligence?
As an advocate for yourself or someone you love, it’s important to speak up and demand quality care if something doesn’t seem right. You have the right to check medications before they are administered and to have test results and procedures explained to you. If you do happen to find yourself in a situation where hospital negligence may apply, your next step should be to contact a qualified attorney. If you suspect negligence, contact King Simmons Attorneys today and let one of our hospital negligence lawyers review your case today.