When Standards of Care Fall Short, You Suffer the Consequences
Posted By Tara Worthley
As a patient, you have rights, and one basic right is that your healthcare providers will follow the standards of care. When they do not follow these standards, you or your loved one is at risk for serious injury.
A healthcare-improvement organization called the National Quality Forum (NQF) developed a list of “serious reportable events,” also known as “never events,” that occur in healthcare. This set is a compilation of serious, largely preventable, and harmful clinical events, which may result in a medical malpractice claim. The NQF’s website includes care-management events in the list of “never events.”
The following are examples of care-management events:
- Patient death or serious injury associated with a medication error—e.g., errors involving the wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong patient, wrong time, wrong rate, wrong preparation, or wrong route of administration.
- Patient death or serious injury associated with unsafe administration of blood products.
- Maternal death or serious injury associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a healthcare setting.
- Death or serious injury of a neonate (infant) associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy.
- Patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare setting.
- Any Stage 3, Stage 4, or unstageable pressure ulcers acquired after admission/presentation to a healthcare setting.
- Artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or wrong egg.
- Patient death or serious injury resulting from the irretrievable loss of an irreplaceable biological specimen.
- Patient death or serious injury resulting from failure to follow up or communicate laboratory, pathology, or radiology test results.
Each event described above can be devastating—or even fatal. Even more troubling is that these events are generally preventable, if only the healthcare provider followed adequate standards of care.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or death due to poor standards of care, consider having the incident investigated by a medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether medical negligence occurred and whether you have any rights against the healthcare provider in failing to protect patient safety. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim can be a complex and involved process.
The attorneys of Langer & Langer have handled all kinds of medical malpractice claims for patients throughout Indiana. Feel free to contact our offices, if you have further questions about Indiana medical malpractice law.