Can You Sue a Hospital Administrator for Malpractice?
Ragain & Clark June 29, 2022
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities handle hundreds of procedures per day. Providing quality health care to patients requires a high level of communication, detailed policies and procedures, and qualified and highly-trained providers and medical staff. Any failure along the way can jeopardize the safety, health, and well-being of those entrusted to their care. In some cases, these types of administrative failures can give rise to a medical malpractice claim. If you have suffered harm while receiving care in a hospital or other medical facility, a Montana or Wyoming hospital negligence lawyer can provide you with valuable guidance.
Administrative Errors That May Qualify as Medical Malpractice
Generally speaking, hospitals can be held liable for the negligence of their employees. For example, you may have a medical malpractice claim against the hospital if a nurse gave you the wrong medication. Even though the nurse was at fault, an attorney may recommend that you sue both the hospital and the nurse.
Administrative errors are somewhat different, however. While they may be compounded by a particular employee’s negligence, medical malpractice claims caused by administrative errors are generally a result of the hospital’s failure to efficiently manage its facilities and personnel. These administrative errors include the following:
- Inadequate sanitation and sterilization. Lax standards regarding sanitation and sterilization can lead to infection and other complications that can endanger patients’ health.
- Inadequate security. People are often under extreme emotional distress when at the hospital, particularly in the emergency room. Sudden emotional outbursts that result in violence are not uncommon. Hospitals have an obligation to protect their patients from foreseeable harm that may be caused by other patients or people who may be at the facility.
- Inadequate employee screening. Hospitals should ensure that their employees have the necessary qualifications in order to work at their facility. Furthermore, they should screen out applicants who have a history of issues in prior positions, especially if those issues involved negligence or medical malpractice. Hospitals should also be screening for substance abuse issues and other problems that could potentially put patients at risk.
- Inadequate employee training. Most medical professionals need constant training as to new procedures, equipment, or updated policies. Hospitals should make sure that all medical personnel have the appropriate amount of training to ensure that they provide adequate care. Hospitals should also ensure that all staff is up-to-date on any continuing education and other licensing requirements.
- Substandard safety protocols. Hospitals should have standard procedures for what staff should do in a variety of situations to ensure that patients receive the care they need promptly. While it can be difficult to anticipate every potential scenario, hospitals should update their safety protocols when they discover that they are inadequate.
- Inefficient administrative policies. Policies that govern how and when treatment is provided can be cumbersome and lead to critical delays in patient care. Hospitals can be held liable when they fail to update their policies once they discover that they can lead to unsafe delays.
- Failure to maintain, repair, or replace medical equipment. Modern healthcare relies on a wide variety of medical equipment, some of which needs regular upkeep and maintenance. Failure to maintain this equipment can lead to faulty test results and other issues. Broken equipment that cannot be repaired should be promptly replaced. Failure to maintain, replace, or repair essential equipment can result in harm to patients.
- Mismanagement of personnel and other staffing issues. Staffing issues, lax disciplinary standards, and general mismanagement can quickly lead to substandard care. Hospitals have an obligation to ensure that the hospital is properly staffed at all times. Hospitals should also terminate employees who are underperforming or otherwise undermine the quality of care.
This is not an exhaustive list and administrative errors can be difficult to identify, particularly for non-lawyers.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Pursue a Claim Against a Hospital Administrator
As mentioned above, administrative errors can be difficult to identify. The first thing an experienced lawyer can do for you is reviewing the facts of your case and identify who the responsible parties may be.
Second, hospitals and other medical facilities are corporations. On top of that, more and more hospitals are being bought up by massive healthcare conglomerates. This means that you may be pursuing a claim against a massive corporation that is headquartered in another state. These entities have both inside and outside counsel and spend a significant amount of money paying their attorneys to aggressively defend them against claims. A lawyer can neutralize whatever advantage they may have and give you a fair shot at pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Contact Ragain & Clark Today for Pursue Your Claim
Hospital administrative errors are some of the most challenging medical malpractice cases our clients face. With over 30 years of experience in helping people get fair compensation for their medical malpractice claims, we have the knowledge and skill you need for a fair result. Send us an email or call us today at 406-651-8888 (Billings) or 307-388-6400 (Worland) to schedule a free consultation.