When identifying possible medical malpractice, it is important to look not only to the physician, but to the entire hospital staff as well. A Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney, like the professionals of Galfand Berger, can help you differentiate and decide on the target of your lawsuit.
In many cases, a hospital may be negligent and held responsible because it is vicariously liable for the actions of its employees. The scope and degree of which these individuals interact with patients may differ, and include doctors, physicians assistants, medical practitioners, anesthesiologists, interns, medical assistants, and nurses. Hospitals are responsible for hiring fully qualified individuals and must check each employee’s credentials. If an institution should have reasonably known that a staff member was incompetent, they could be liable if that person injured or incorrectly treated patients.
All hospital employees have the duty to provide optimal care to patients. Breaching this duty is negligence and could cause direct harm to the people they are supposed to protect. Substandard care and negligence include any treatments that are less than what a patient should expect of a particular employee. If they do not deliver care using the skill, knowledge, and diligence expected of such a professional, the care may be considered substandard.
Negligence and substandard care occur often in nursing homes. In many instances, nursing home staff members leave elderly patients dehydrated and malnourished because there is no one to help them eat and drink regularly. Painful, preventable bedsores are extremely common, as are injuries due to falls. These devastating issues are often as a result of shortages in staff and inadequate staff training. Nursing homes have a standard of care that every patient should receive, including meeting the medical and personal hygiene requirements of each patient. Employees should follow care plans outlined for each resident and modify plans if the patient’s needs change. Care that falls short of this is substandard and negligent, leaving the nursing home and its employees open to medical malpractice suits.