Hospitals and Clinics
Florida Hospital Malpractice Lawyers on Your Side
Along with doctors, hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities have a responsibility to meet accepted standards in providing patient care. So when a death or serious injury occurs during medical treatment at one of these facilities, the complexity of a medical malpractice claim increases. As such, if you believe you suffered due to a hospital or emergency room error, you need to contact Florida hospital malpractice lawyers.
Is There a Legal Distinction Between Hospitals and Clinics?
A hospital, by definition, is a full-service medical care facility that generally provides both in-patient and out-patient services, ranging from emergency care to birthing centers to diagnostic technology to surgical facilities and, often, expertise in medical specialties such as cancer or children’s diseases.
As the number and variety of clinics have increased over the last few years, the lines between so-called “clinic” facilities and hospitals have become blurred, especially when it comes to out-patient care. Ambulatory surgery centers provide surgery on an in-and-out basis, and urgent care walk-in clinics are popping up all over the country to treat simple injuries, diagnose common illnesses and prescribe medications.
On the other hand, in some areas clinics remain the primary health care providers for local populations without access to a hospital. And some medical facilities that began as clinics, such as the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, have become large hospitals with a major presence in several parts of the country.
Our Florida Hospital Malpractice Lawyers Have a Record of Recovery for Patients
Just because you are dissatisfied with the treatment you received, or its results, does not mean you have a medical malpractice case against the hospital or clinic where you were treated. Although hospitals and clinics may be held liable for negligent or incompetent care provided by nurses, paramedics and medical technicians in their employ, they are not always responsible for a doctor’s performance.
Because these kinds of malpractice cases can be complicated, if you believe you have a medical malpractice claim you will want Florida medical malpractice attorneys who have a track record on behalf of patients who died or were seriously injured in hospital or clinic settings.
At Searcy Denney, our Florida medical malpractice lawyers have successfully represented hundreds of hospital patients and families of victims of medical malpractice:
- A $31 million settlement for plaintiffs and counsel against Tenet Healthcare Corp. on behalf of patients who suffered dangerous, painful infections after cardiac surgery at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center in Florida.
- An $8 million verdict for the family of a 15-year-old boy who died from brain damage caused by a hospital’s failure to provide timely treatment for a life-threatening medical condition.
- $4.25 million in settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit against a medical clinic for repeated failures to diagnose the pancreatic cancer that resulted in a patient’s untimely death.
Common Hospital Medication Errors
In the hospital setting, a prescription passes from hand to hand before the medication finally reaches the patient. The prescription travels from a doctor to a nurse to a computer to a pharmacist and then the medication is passed from the pharmacy to a nurse to the patient.
Numerous opportunities for error arise during the process, including:
- The doctor prescribes a medication that has adverse affects on the patient’s health.
- The doctor illegibly scribbles the prescription, resulting in misinterpretation by nurses or pharmacists.
- The nurse or doctor inputs the prescription into the hospitals data system incorrectly.
- The computer system is not properly calibrated to alert staff of dangerous drug interactions or contraindications for a patient’s medical condition.
- The pharmacist inaccurately fills the prescription with a medication that has a similar appearance or a similar sounding name.
- The nurse confuses patients and mixes up their medications.
- The nurse administers medication too soon or too far apart, common after a change in shift.
- The hospital fails to implement an effective process to detect prescription errors.
Mistakes Continue Despite Technology
Many hospitals have adopted computerized physician order entry (CPOE) technology to prevent some of the most common medical errors, such as illegible handwriting and scattered patient records. Whereas, computers can minimize mistakes, the machines are only as foolproof as the data entered, which remains subject to human mistakes, including:
- Providing insufficient training in using the computer system
- Entering a decimal, zero or number incorrectly — entering .10 mg instead of 1.0 mg
- Ignoring alarm signals and warning popup windows meant to notify the nurse or doctor about problems with the prescription
- Duplicating input of prescription information because of staff overlaps
- Failing to have a viable backup should the computer crash during an emergency
Every Florida prescription error lawyer at our firm has the advanced technological knowledge and access to well-respected experts to build a strong case when a hospital’s use of its CPOE contributed to your injuries.
Experienced Florida Hospital Malpractice Lawyers Just a Phone Call Away
Our medical malpractice attorneys at Searcy Denney have more than 40 years’ experience handling claims that have originated in hospital and clinic settings. If you or someone you love has suffered because of a healthcare facility’s negligent or incompetent practice, we welcome your call for a free, confidential consultation. Please call us at 1-800-780-8607 or fill out our Contact Form.