If you or a loved one is hurt because of medical errors, you are probably wondering what you can do to get compensated. You should know that the hospital has likely already taken steps to protect itself against a malpractice case. Avoiding having doctors or surgeons apologize to patients or limiting patient access to records of what happened during a surgery or treatment are just a few ways they may try to manipulate the situation.
Hospitals attempting to cover up errors by settling early or avoiding the claims of victims’ families altogether sets a bad precedent for the entire medical community.
How do physicians and hospitals try to protect themselves from liability?
The first way they attempt to protect themselves is by using defensive medicine. Defensive medicine is when a doctor orders tests, additional visits or procedures in the hope of limiting their exposure to malpractice liability. This can be good for the patient in some ways, but it’s costly.
The biggest problem with defensive medicine is that it may include unnecessary medical treatment and omit necessary care.
What should hospitals do to make interactions with patients safer, not just a lower liability?
Hospitals can make their environments safer for patients rather than trying to find ways to avoid liability with overprescribing or other techniques.
Typical ways to reduce liability may include improving communication between departments, using verification procedures before operations to make sure the correct site is being operated on and that the right patient is in the operating room, encouraging longer scheduled appointments or meetings with patients instead of creating a schedule that keeps surgeons or doctors booked back-to-back and others.
As a patient or loved one of someone who has been hurt during a medical procedure, you should know that you do have the right to access your patient records. You deserve an opportunity to go over what happened and to find a resolution to the issue. If the hospital is not willing to work with you, then you may want to consider a medical malpractice claim.