| Read Time: 4 minutes | Medical Malpractice
malpractice prevention

Hospital negligence refers to situations where a healthcare facility fails to provide a reasonable standard of care, resulting in patient harm or injury.

In New Mexico, as in other states, instances of hospital negligence can give rise to medical malpractice lawsuits.

These lawsuits typically involve misdiagnosissurgical mistakesmedication errors, or inadequate patient monitoring.

Preventing hospital negligence is crucial for safeguarding patient well-being and maintaining public trust in healthcare systems. Hospital negligence can lead to serious harm, prolonged suffering, and even loss of life for patients.

By upholding stringent standards of care, hospitals ensure accurate diagnoses, safe treatments, and proper patient monitoring while preventing physical and emotional harm and reducing medical malpractice claims, legal liabilities, and associated financial burdens on healthcare institutions.

Ultimately, prioritizing preventive measures fosters a culture of patient safety, reinforces healthcare professionals’ accountability, and contributes to a more effective and reliable healthcare system.

Below, the Las Cruces medical malpractice lawyers at Poulos & Coates will go over those preventive measures.

If you have questions, or would like to speak to an experienced medical negligence lawyer, please contact us today.

Malpractice Prevention

Malpractice prevention requires a comprehensive approach that involves healthcare professionals, administrators, and policymakers. There are various ways to prevent medical malpractice. 

Quality Training and Education

Providing continuous training and education to healthcare staff can ensure they are up-to-date with the latest medical practices, procedures, and safety protocols.

Clear Communication

Fostering effective communication among healthcare teams will ensure accurate information exchanges about patient conditions, treatment plans, and potential risks.

Standardized Protocols

Implementing standardized protocols for medical procedures, medication administration, and patient monitoring will help reduce errors and variability in care.

Patient-Centered Care 

Prioritizing patient needs and preferences, involving them in the decision-making process, and promoting personalized care plans will ensure that the patient and the medical provider are on the same page throughout the treatment process.

Robust Supervision and Monitoring

Regularly assessing and monitoring healthcare professionals’ performance can help identify any issues or gaps in care delivery.

Use of Technology

Implementing electronic health records (EHRs), barcode scanning systems for medications, and other technological solutions may help to reduce documentation errors and improve patient safety.

Patient Safety Culture

Promoting a culture of patient safety and treatment improvement by enabling providers to report near-miss incidents and errors without fear of retaliation.

Second Opinion and Consultations

Encouraging healthcare professionals to seek second opinions and consultations when dealing with complex cases or uncertain diagnoses can instill confidence that a diagnosis or treatment plan is correct.

Informed Consent

Ensuring that patients fully understand their treatment options and the potential risks before undergoing treatment can reduce discrepancies between provider and patient.

Root Cause Analysis

Conducting thorough investigations into adverse events can identify their underlying causes and help implement corrective actions to prevent recurrence.

Regular Audits and Assessments

Conducting regular internal audits and external assessments will help identify areas for improvement in patient care processes.

Regulatory Compliance

Staying updated with medical regulations, accreditation standards, and guidelines will ensure the hospital operates by best practices.

Transparency and Accountability

Establishing mechanisms for reporting and addressing concerns about patient care will aid in holding healthcare professionals accountable for their actions.

Feedback Mechanisms

Encouraging patients and their families to provide feedback on their experiences allows hospitals to identify issues and make necessary improvements.

By adopting a proactive and patient-centered approach, hospitals can significantly reduce the risk of negligence, enhance patient safety, and maintain the trust of their communities.

How to Prevent Negligence When Seeking Medical Treatment

Patients also play a role in preventing hospital negligence by being proactive advocates for their own care.

Do Your Research

Research hospitals and healthcare providers before seeking treatment. Review the feedback left by prior patients. Choose facilities with good reputations for patient safety and quality care.

Clear Communication

Communicate your medical history, symptoms, and concerns to your healthcare provider. Ensure they understand your situation and preferences.

Do not be afraid to write down your symptoms or experiences to help ensure you do not forget anything.

Ask Questions

Don’t hesitate to ask questions about your diagnosis, treatment options, and potential risks. Make sure you fully understand any medical procedures or medications.

Second Opinions

Seek a second opinion from another healthcare provider, especially for significant diagnoses or complex treatments. Doing so can provide you with additional perspectives and insights.

Involve Family or Advocates

Have a family member or trusted advocate present during medical appointments to help ask questions and ensure accurate information exchange.

Understand Informed Consent

Before undergoing any medical procedure, ensure you fully understand the details of the process, potential risks, benefits, and alternatives. Ask for written information if necessary.

Medication Management

Keep an up-to-date list of your medications, allergies, and any adverse reactions you’ve experienced. Double-check medication doses and names before they’re administered.

Patient Portals

Use patient portals to access your medical records, test results, and treatment plans if available. Review these records for accuracy.

Question Staff Hygiene

Don’t hesitate to ask healthcare providers and staff if they’ve washed their hands or taken other hygiene precautions.

Advance Directives

Consider creating advance directives, such as a living will or a durable power of attorney for healthcare, to outline your preferences for medical treatment in case you’re unable to communicate.

Follow-up Appointments

Attend all follow-up appointments as recommended by your healthcare provider to ensure that your recovery is progressing as expected.

Speak Up

If you notice any mistakes or potential problems, voice your concerns to the healthcare team or hospital administration.

Report Concerns

If you experience or witness any incidents of potential negligence or unsafe practices, report them to hospital administrators or regulatory authorities.

By actively participating in your healthcare, asking questions, and staying informed, you can reduce the risk of hospital negligence and ensure that you receive the best possible care.

Have You Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you or a loved one recently experienced an adverse outcome after seeking medical treatment, and you believe it was due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, reach out to the law firm of Poulos & Coates, LLP.

At Poulos & Coates, we have nearly 70 years of experience aggressively holding negligent healthcare providers accountable while recovering fair compensation for our clients’ damages.

To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer, give us a call or connect with us through our online contact form.

We take all medical negligence cases on a contingency basis, meaning you will not be asked to pay for our services unless and until we recover for your damages. 

Author Photo

Greig Coates, M.D., J.D.

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Coates has successfully represented plaintiffs in every conceivable type of medical malpractice lawsuit–from single-physician cases to complex litigation involving over a dozen doctors and several hospitals. Dr. Coates has taken several thousand physician depositions in his career involving every known physician specialty and sub-specialty, and almost as many depositions involving hospital personnel such as nurses, techs, and administrators. He has tried several dozen cases to successful verdicts.