Medical malpractice cases often involve the negligent actions of a doctor, nurse, therapist, or other medical professional. However, some of the most dangerous situations are created by an unsafe facility or faulty procedures. If there are administrative and/or system errors, the person who pays the highest price for this is the person who came seeking medical care and left with a severe, and entirely preventable, injury.
There are many different types of system errors, but the common ones include:
- Safety and security;
Following procedures that are put in place to ensure the provision of the high-quality medical care is critical to prevent mistakes that may lead to severe harm.
One of the most common scenarios in which administrative errors leads to devastating consequences is when a hospital or other healthcare facility does not have the proper protocols in place for cleaning the surfaces of the building, medical devices, and equipment, leading to the spread of dangerous and potentially deadly bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Another common source of unnecessary harm to patients is not having the proper in-take procedures so that a person needing immediate assistance is forced to wait so long that he or she suffers from irreparable harm that could have been prevented with the proper protocols.
While not exhaustive, here are a number of administrative or system issues that could lead to malpractice:
- Administrative errors – This is a broad category where the individuals who manage or run a hospital or other healthcare facility fail to take reasonable action to ensure a safe environment. Administrative errors could include failing to post acceptable cleaning regimes, failing to pass along critical information to doctors and other medical professionals, or failing to have a system that leads to organized and effective care of patients;
- Admission or in-take errors – When a person walks into a healthcare facility seeking medical care, there is crucial information that must be gathered, including medical conditions that could impact the type of care received. In addition to gathering the relevant information, there must be an assessment done of the patient’s condition in order to determine if expedited treatment is required. Ignoring the signs of a person in distress could lead to a far more severe injury or a fatality that could have been prevented. In addition, it is important that there are policies in place that address providing necessary care, regardless of the person’s ability to pay. Although there are circumstances where a person may be referred to another healthcare facility, refusing to treat someone who requires immediate care may lead to liability in a malpractice case;
- Failing to manage medical professionals – The hiring, training, and management of healthcare providers is a crucial component to fulfilling the obligations to satisfy the medical standard of care applicable to a healthcare facility. Lax hiring standards, where individuals who do not have the right training or experience to function in the roles for which they were hired, may lead to serious medical mistakes. In addition, it is necessary to ensure that medical professionals are receiving the right ongoing training and oversight so that they can meet or exceed the medical standards of care that apply to them. Finally, a facility may be responsible for injuries when it failed to maintain the proper number of medical professionals to provide effective care for patients;
- Failing to enact necessary policies and procedures – These policies may cover everything from how routinely sophisticated equipment is serviced to how to administer certain patient tests. If the facility has not met its burden to have reasonable policies and procedures in place, it may be responsible for harm done to patients;
- Safety and security violations – It is necessary to maintain a facility that protects patients from outside threats, including situations where a third-party could access a medical device and alter the treatment that a patient is receiving; and
- Failing to maintain accurate records – There are many mistakes that are made because a doctor does not have all the necessary information due to a record-keeping error. This could lead to serious situations involving negative drug interactions or even operating on the wrong patient.
If a hospital or other healthcare facility is negligent with the creation and enforcement of administrative protocols, then it can lead to a severe medical injury that could derail a person’s life and forever change the lives of his or her family.
Stern Law, PLLC Advocates for Those Harmed by Medical Mistakes by Administrative and System Errors
When a person has suffered harm because of a preventable medical error, it is critical to learn about his or her rights and options as soon as possible. At Stern Law, PLLC, our attorney has spent more than 30 years focusing on the needs of our clients in order to craft an effective strategy and pursue it aggressively in order to obtain the best possible outcome. In addition to fighting for our clients, we also have dedicated staff available to answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for anyone who has a question or concern about professional medical malpractice, regardless of whether or not you are our client. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.