In virtually all stages of medical care outside the operating room, nurses are the primary care givers. They provide day-to-day care, dispense medication, and are responsible for recognizing when a patient is suffering complications, or is otherwise in distress.
They outnumber doctors at least 4 to 1 in most medical settings. There are 4.2 million registered nurses in the United States, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses, compared to about 1 million medical doctors.
Understanding the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence can be critical when it comes to handling personal injury and wrongful death cases. In some cases, law firms do not accept viable cases because of a lack of expertise. In other cases, they may fail to identify all factors of causation, or may even accept unwinnable cases because of a lack of the specialized knowledge required to review complex medical records.
At Lynn Andersen Nurse Consulting, her decades of nursing and regulatory compliance expertise is translated into a cost-effective medical insider dedicated to all of your litigation needs – from case screening through to mediation or trial.
Medical negligence is, by definition, the unintentional causing of injury. While that makes it much more common, it also can make it harder to prove. Medical negligence means a nurse or other medical practitioner made an error in good faith. Such mistakes are commonplace in most overworked, understaffed medical facilities. But proving a case of medical negligence still requires a comprehensive knowledge of the standards of care in place in all medical care settings, as well as the standards specific to an individual patient's condition and course of treatment.
To successfully prove cases of medical negligence, four specific elements must be demonstrated: A duty existed, a deviation from the standard of care existed, damages occurred, and damages were directly caused by the deviation.
However, today’s world of electronic medical records makes it all but impossible for even an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney to thoroughly review the facts and circumstances of a case. An experienced nurse consultant can be a vital asset at each stage of proving a case:
Unlike medical negligence, which is, at its simplest, a medical mistake, medical malpractice is an allegation that a physician or other medical profession acted, or failed to act, with intent, and harm resulted. There can be some commonalities between malpractice and intent. For example, if failure to diagnose results from sub-standard testing, was a medical professional negligent in failing to order tests, or did he or she intentionally forgo some testing?
While the other four elements must still be proven - duty, breach of care, causation and damages - the added element of intent can significantly complicate medical malpractice cases.
Lynn has worked extensively with state and federal compliance regulations, including The Joint Commission and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and has incorporated her passion for patient advocacy into developing a multitude of protocols and procedures to ensure patients receive up-to-date quality care. Her extensive experience is in Trauma and Critical Care specialties, Lynn and her team are experienced and qualified to work on any topic throughout the lifespan, from newborn injuries to elderly care.
Medical Malpractice Expert Witness, Lynn Andersen Nurse Consulting L.L.C. provides free consultations, and professional and comprehensive services at every state of litigation, from intake to resolution. Call her direct at 719-237-4415.