When someone enters an Arizona hospital for treatment, a physician called a hospitalist will likely manage the patient's care. Typically, these professionals trained in internal or family medicine, but they practice only within a hospital. They work on the front line of patient care and function as a patient's primary care physician within the hospital. They coordinate treatments dictated by other specialists and monitor the patient's medical status. When a hospitalist fails to meet the standards of the profession, negligence might result. Malpractice claims against them fall predominantly into three categories.
A medical liability insurance company studied malpractice suits against hospitalists between 2007 and 2014. More than three-quarters of claims resulted from delayed or incorrect diagnoses, poor management of treatment or medication errors. The review of the malpractice cases also revealed that 35 percent of them likely involved inadequate patient assessments.
The ranks of hospitalists have been increasing. A 2014 count of them by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics placed their number at approximately 44,000. The specialty is relatively new to the medical profession. Board certification in hospital medicine became available in 2009.
When a member of a health care team fails to perform up to the requisite standard of care and a patient is harmed as a result, a medical malpractice lawsuit be a viable legal action. These types of lawsuits often need to meet specific criteria before advancing through the courts. An attorney will often assess the case by reviewing the patient's electronic hospital records and obtain the opinions of independent medical experts in order to make a determination as to whether doctor negligence took place.