Technology and research have stimulated great advances in the medical field over the years. Patients have good reason to believe that when entering a health care facility, they will be provided with safe and effective treatment. And yet studies indicate that in excess of a million patients a year are harmed in some way when receiving medical care.
So what should you do if you believe you have suffered an injury when under the care of medical professionals? The founder of Mothers Against Medical Errors recommends the following steps:
- Be certain that an internal report is created regarding the incident. Get your side of the event on the record. Hospitals should have processes in place to investigate any incident that has harmed or could cause harm to patients.
- Inform regulators of the incident so they can perform an investigation. Actions imposed by regulators can create a documented record of the event. Providers may be issued citations or fines and can be required to develop a program for generating improvements.
- Secure a copy of pertinent records. As a patient, you have a legal right to your medical records. These records can include copies of lab results, diagnostic images and notes taken by doctors and nurses.
- Discuss the situation with hospital officials and the doctor. When meeting with these parties, you can go over what measures may be taken to avoid similar incidents in the future. You may also be able to negotiate the terms of payment of medical expenses or reach an agreement on compensation.
If you or a loved one is injured due to some form of mismanaged medical care, you will have decisions to make regarding your response. Should the incident have been caused by negligence, you may consider pursuing the issue with the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney.
A Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney may be able to take the records of your incident and perform further investigations as a means to determine what would constitute fair restitution.