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Can hospitals be held liable for medical malpractice?

When you think about the concept of medical malpractice, you may think about a doctor failing to perform to the standards established in his or her area of practice. You may also think about surgeons failing to remove surgical devices after a procedure or doctors misdiagnosing a patient who ends up having a terminal disease. Despite these maladies attributable to individuals, a hospital could be held liable for malpractice as well.

This post will give a general explanation as to why.

To put hospital malpractice into proper context, consider this: when an automaker produces a vehicle that has particular defects that go unaddressed, the automaker could be held liable because it has a responsibility to ensure that its product is free from defects that could harm an unsuspecting consumer. Likewise, a hospital has a duty to ensure that the services it provides is not hindered by problems or inefficiencies that could result in a patient being harmed. 

To that end, a hospitals could be held liable in the following instances:

Failing to make proper inquiries – A hospital has a responsibility to make reasonable inquiries into the physicians that they employ or allow to have privileges at the hospital. The same applies to nurses and other medical staff.

Failing to ensure adequate staffing –To make sure that patients receive adequate care, hospitals are also charged with providing enough nurses at a given time to make sure that patients are not at risk.

If you have questions about whether the failures of these functions may lead to a cause of action for you, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help. 

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