Nursing Malpractice and Hospital Errors
Louisville, KY, Medical Malpractice LawyerThe American medical landscape changes practically every day. In an effort to maximize profits, hospitals, large healthcare systems, and corporations are buying more physician practice groups. That means that many hospital companies employ both the physicians and nurses who provide patients care and treatment. Previously, in most medical negligence cases, an injured plaintiff would need to sue both their physician and the hospital if a medical mistake occurred. However, due to the recent changes in the business of medicine, it is just as likely that a patient’s attending doctor and nurses work for the same company.
Like doctors, nurses are responsible for providing patients appropriate care and treatment. However, because many physicians may only see their patients once a day while performing rounds, nurses become patients’ point of contact to relay their wants, needs, and problems. Unfortunately, to become more profitable, many hospitals and healthcare systems do not employ enough nurses or other staff members, which can negatively affect the care and treatment patients receive. Likewise, in order to generate more income, many hospitals and healthcare companies do not reinvest in their infrastructure. Thus, the facilities where patients reside may be unsafe, or medical equipment used to diagnose and treat patients’ medical problems may be outdated.
Common Causes of Hospital Negligence, Malpractice, or ErrorsHospital and nursing malpractice can take many forms. Examples of common problems in hospitals that lead to negligence or errors include:
- Untrained staff, including nurses;
- Inadequately trained staff;
- Unsafe or unsanitary facilities;
- Outdated medical equipment;
- Inadequate record keeping;
- Poor communication between physicians, nurses, and other hospital staff;
- Failing to appreciate a patient’s worsening condition, or signs of distress;
- Failing to follow hospital policies and procedures;
- Failing to follow physicians’ orders; and
- Prescription drug errors.