Our area has seen some major changes in the past few years when it comes to healthcare choices. East Texas Medical Center and Trinity Mother Francis, long-time regional hospital networks changed ownership, becoming UT Health East Texas and Christus Trinity Mother Francis respectively. CEO’s changed, doctors switched affiliations or struck out on their own and hospital employees moved back and forth like kids playing Red Rover. All that shakeup created uncertainty for area residents.
It’s long been understood that not all healthcare is the same. Better physicians find better solutions to healthcare needs. Well-trained staff makes fewer mistakes. Facilities with cutting-edge equipment have more resources to enable patient recoveries. And unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
Overworked, unequipped or unethical physicians can recommend treatment that makes you worse, not better. Poorly trained staff makes mistakes at the cost of your health. Facilities with insufficient resources might make due with the wrong technology and ruin your chances of getting better. Often, the only way to separate the good from the bad is to do your research.
What Types of Complaints Go On Record
While you want your doctor to have a good bedside manner, that’s not necessarily a deal breaker, especially if you’re seriously ill or injured. The types of complaints to be concerned about have more to do with the standard of care each physician or facility provides. These types of complaints can be reported and have to do with standard of care.
- Ignoring calls for help from patients in emergency or dangerous situations
- Prescribing the wrong type of medication
- Not diagnosing medical problems or conditions when indications are present
- Violating doctor-patient confidentiality
- Failing to provide the right type of care after an operation
- Practicing medicine while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
- Engaging in physical or sexual misconduct
Where to Find Complaints Online
In Texas, make your first stop the Texas State Medical Board. In Louisiana, check the State Board of Medical Examiners. In both places, if the physician or “licensee” has ever been the subject of disciplinary action by the board, you’ll find it there.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are recorded where the complaint was filed. Keep in mind just because someone filed a lawsuit doesn’t mean the doctor or physician is actually guilty of medical malpractice. Don’t rush to make a decision until you have enough information about the case.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance compiles data related to quality of care. They can be a good overall resource when you’re choosing a healthcare professional.
If It’s Too Late for Research
People make mistakes, even people with medical degrees. However, if someone made a mistake in the process of providing you medical care and you got sick or hurt, you may be entitled to compensation. It’s their responsibility to provide the best care and to know what might go wrong in your situation.
Schedule a free consultation with Monsour Law Firm attorneys and we can talk about your case. There’s no cost to get information and find out the best next steps for you.