Last time, we looked briefly at a recent report which showed that preventable deaths occur much more frequently at hospitals with poor performance ratings than at hospitals with high performance ratings. This led us into a discussion about the interrelation between physician negligence and hospital negligence. As we noted, facilities sometimes enable negligent physicians to continue practicing when they really shouldn’t.
Hospitals are bound by a wide variety of state and federal regulations and requirements, and can therefore be found negligent in a variety of ways when a patient is harmed by a careless physician. Hospitals may also be found negligent by virtue of being the employer of a negligent employee. When there is a physician who has a history of poor performance and/or misconduct, a hospital which has done little or nothing to address the problem should be held accountable.
Any patient who has been harmed by a negligent physician should, in building a strong medical malpractice case, also consider the possibility of pursuing the medical facility for negligence as well. Pursuing a hospital for its role in medical negligence can help ensure that a patient receives adequate compensation, particularly when the negligent physician is not able to pay on a judgment. The insurance companies that cover hospitals are dedicated to protecting their interests, though, so these cases can be challenging.
As with any personal injury case, it is important to weigh the costs and potential benefits of pursuing litigation before making any commitments. Those who have suffered harm at the hands of a negligent physician should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to determine their options and receive guidance and advocacy.