Receiving appropriate medical care is extremely important, as communities around the country put trust in medical professionals and hospitals. There have been occurrences when medical professionals provide incorrect services and care making it incredibly necessary to report the situation to state medical boards, medical board websites, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Report Cards. There are many different types of medical claims that the general public can file against medical professionals and hospitals from medication errors and improper treatment to diagnosis errors and releasing a patient too early.
Types of Medical Complaints
Within the medical field, there are many areas in which medical complaints can be filed, but it’s essential to thoroughly think about your experience before starting a claim as there are times where patients receiving even the best medical care can’t find relief.
- Medication Errors: If you’ve discovered an error in your medication prescription from incorrect type and dose to frequency and administration route, it may be time to file a complaint. Many medications carry risks of side effects, and improper administration can lead to serious personal injury or death.
- Improper Treatment: After being diagnosed with a medical condition, your doctor will prescribe specific medications, treatments, and surgeries. There have been instances where inappropriate treatments or surgeries have taken place, and if you’ve experienced this, filing a medical complaint is an option.
- Diagnosis Errors: Catching severe medical conditions early on is extremely important to your overall health. If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed or suspect a delayed diagnosis, filing a medical complaint may be the next step.
- Releasing a Patient Too Early: If you’re in the hospital for a medical condition, proper guidance and instructions are vital to your recovery. Instances where patients are discharged before they’re ready or without appropriate instructions can result in serious harm.
Where to Find Information
There are many resources available for the general public to utilize to research their doctor or hospital adequately. It’s encouraged to look into your doctor’s background and identify any potential red flags or areas that raise suspicion. If you discover any areas of concern, it’s recommended to confront your doctor to see what went on and further determine whether you wish to start or continue receiving treatment from them.
Federation of State Medical Boards Physician Data Center
The Federation of State Medical Boards is a non-profit organization representing 71 state medical boards throughout the United States. This organization has a Physician Data Center that provides the general public with detailed information about various medical professionals licensed by the represented boards. Individuals that access the Physician Data Center can review information such as:
- Board Certifications
- Educational Background
- Past Disciplinary Actions
- States Where the Doctor is Licensed
Accessing your doctor’s background will help you get a better understanding of their experience and track record. It’s incredibly important to have an experienced doctor familiar with and trained to care for your specific medical condition properly. Reviewing any past disciplinary actions will also help you determine how serious your doctor’s previous allegations, if any, have been and if there are any similarities to your situation.
Access Medical Boards Online
States across the country have medical boards, and all medical errors are required to be reported to the designated medical complaint board. Each state has different processes for filing a complaint, but ultimately the process begins with the patient submitting a report to the board. This information is available to any individual to inform the medical community of a doctor or hospital’s wrongdoing and the general public as a precautionary measure so others won’t fall into the same situation. Each state has an appointed agency that licenses, regulates, and disciplines doctors who engage in professional misconduct. Each agency has a database that is available to the general public as well. When conducting research, it’s vital to account for all states your doctor is licensed and practices in as you may have to review multiple medical board websites to further solidify your case.
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Report Cards
The National Committee for Quality Assurance Report Cards is a non-profit organization that tracks the quality and successes of health care providers, organizations, and plans. Within the NCQA, a scoring system is utilized to assess doctors’ and practices’ performance and malpractice history. The report cards don’t detail past complaints or background, but it does provide you with the reassurance that the doctor, practice, or plan you’re inquiring about are devoted to keeping patients healthy by providing adequate treatment.
Visiting the county’s courthouse where your doctor practices or where the hospital is located is an excellent option if you want to review previous complaints filed against your doctor or hospital. Courthouses will have access to all previous medical malpractice lawsuits that have been recorded, which can help determine whether a situation has happened in the past that’s similar to you or your loved ones’. Each state differs in the processes to retrieve court records, but there will likely be options to request and view them in person or electronically.
If you have identified a mistake in your medical care, it’s imperative to file a complaint to protect others from having the same experience. There are many preventative measures you can take to avoid your chances of being involved in a medical error:
- Ask Plenty of Questions: At any doctor’s appointment, it’s encouraged to ask your doctor as many questions as you can regarding your care, treatment, and their findings. This will help you better understand your condition and treatment recommendations and help you identify whether your doctor has your best interest in mind.
- Research Your Doctor: Before scheduling an appointment with any doctor, it’s encouraged to conduct thorough background research to ensure they are the right physician. Review their care focus, complaint history, and reviews from previous patients.
- Bring Someone Along: Having another set of ears at your doctor’s appointment can help reduce your risk of being a medical error victim. Invite a friend or family member to join you at your appointment to listen in, ask questions, take notes, and serve as a witness should an issue develop down the road.
Start Your Medical Claim Today
If you’ve received medical care that you believe is incorrect or have been harmed by a medical professional’s care, it’s encouraged to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to start a medical claim. Adequate medical care is critical to your well-being and quality of life. Any medical professionals or hospitals must be held accountable should they not provide correct medical care. Start your medical claim today to begin your trip to recovery and relief.