There are a large number of potential situations that can be considered medical malpractice. While most people first thing of surgical error, some of the lesser-known categories of medical malpractice are beginning to get attention in recent years.
Medical malpractice lawsuits in Rhode Island often involve issues of informed consent. According to the University of Washington School of Medicine, the informed consent process requires that health care providers disclose to their patients any information that they may need to make a decision regarding the acceptance or refusal of a medical intervention.
Most people in Providence probably aren't overly familiar with the healthcare provider hierarchy. Typically, their main concern is that the most qualified provider in the room at the time of their care is the one who is administering treatment. Providers, on the other hand, are well-versed in the standards of care for those areas in which they practice. Thus, they know exactly who and how many need be present at the time of a patient's procedure in order to be able to respond to sudden changes in the patient's condition. A failure to meet those staffing requirements could be viewed as surgical malpractice.
Most in Providence hope that when they present to a local hospital or clinic, they’ll receive top-flight care delivered by highly-qualified and competent clinicians. In many cases, those expectations are met. Yet if a medical or surgical error were to occur, people also hope that it would be isolated to only one aspect of their care, and that it wouldn’t be life-threatening. However, sometimes one medical mistake can lead to another, and pretty soon those mistakes start getting compounded to the point of producing a tragic result.
The veterans returning home to Providence after fighting for the United States are supposed to enjoy the benefit of world-class health care for the remainder of their lives. Sadly, recent news has begun to raise questions about the quality of care that America’s veterans are receiving. What’s been troubling for so many who have been following this issue is that the reported cases of substandard care aren’t limited to a single facility or even a group of facilities in a single area, but rather are from countless VA facilities across the country.
It takes a good deal of courage for Providence residents to be willing to challenge the status quo. This is especially true when it comes to healthcare. Many may believe that any care given is better than none, and that healthcare providers should always be given the benefit of the doubt. The problem inherent with that line of thinking is that when patients receive poor healthcare, it almost always has drastic and sometimes even fatal consequences. Thus, it’s often left up to those patients who were the recipients of such poor care to hold those providers responsible for giving it.
Patients in Providence want to be able to trust that the care that they receive from their doctors and surgeons is the absolute best. They also most likely hope that should complications arise, not only will their providers be able to deal with them, but also that they will be forthcoming about the work done during their procedures. If one continues to have pain following a procedures, or worse yet, end up in a worsened condition, he or she may be well served to seek a second opinion from another doctor who can provide an objective analysis of the other's work.
The doctors who practice in Providence bring both a unique blend of education and experience to each case that they see. Patients hope that knowledge serves those doctors well in diagnosing the various maladies that they’re suffering from. While doctors aren’t immune to error, the standard of care is that they will make the best decisions regarding their patients’ care based upon the clinical evidence before them. If obvious signs of trouble in a patient are missed or overlooked, the question then becomes why the doctor failed to recognize it. Often, such failures lead to accusations of negligence.
Most in Providence would assume that all lawsuits filed against hospitals involve negligent care that resulted in a patient’s injury. Yet one aspect of healthcare that’s often overlooked is patient rights. While doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are charged with treating their patients’ physical ailments, they are required at the same to respect patients’ rights to make all of the decisions involving their care. Providers open themselves up to accusations of medical negligence should this right not be recognized, even in cases where there is no physical harm to the patient.
Many in Providence were probably told while growing up that “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” One hopes that advice has never been given in reference to healthcare, as patients rely upon a doctor’s initial diagnosis to accurately pinpoint what’s wrong with them, how they might fix such an injury or ailment, and what to expect during their recovery. Yet despite advances in medical science, there still is no iron-clad guarantee of accuracy on a patient’s first visit.