We all hope to receive the best possible medical care as evidenced by how we carefully make the decision as to which doctor we choose to be treated by. As we all know, mistakes happen and this includes mistakes that rise to the level of medical malpractice. Therefore, we all want to be sure that we have the necessary information to make an informed decision as to which doctor or hospital we use for ourselves and our families. One of the first things you want to determine before making your decision about where to be treated is whether there have been any formal complaints made against the doctor or the hospital which you are considering.
This article will therefore, provide a few key resources that can help you to do a little research on medical professionals and healthcare facilities.
1. State Medical Boards - each state licenses its physicians. Therefore, each state’s board of medical licensure handles disciplinary matters. Such disciplinary matters can result in suspension of the physician’s license to practice medicine or the permanent revocation of the physician’s license. A large number of medical state boards have websites that you can access for free to determine the standing or status of a physician or to find out whether the board has taken any disciplinary action against a specific physician. The American Medical Association has compiled a list of content information for each of the state medical boards so you can check for information on their website.
2. State Department of Health - if you are looking for information about a specific hospital, your State Department of Health Services is the best resource to turn to investigate whether there have been any formal complaints made against the facility you are interested in. For example, reports of improper care or unsafe conditions are often reported to the State Department of Health Services. This would definitely be important information to know before choosing a hospital.
3. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) - the Federation of State Medical Boards has compiled a database called “DocInfo” which has information about disciplinary action taken against physicians nationwide. To access this information, you will need to pay a small fee.
Types of complaints
There are a number of potential complaints that may be made against a doctor or hospital. However, some of the most common complaints are:
- Drug errors
- Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis
- Unnecessary or inappropriate surgery
- Unnecessary or inappropriate course of treatment
- Premature hospital discharge
- Incomplete hospital discharge instructions
Knowing the information mentioned in this article is extremely important when choosing which doctor or which hospital you will use. This information could make the difference between using a hospital or doctor that has a history of medical malpractice; in fact, knowing this information could save you from lifelong injuries and possible death. If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of medical malpractice, be sure to contact a law firm of renowned professionals who handle Alaska medical malpractice.