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Medical malpractice cases and hospitalists

Ohio resident may not be familiar with the term hospitalist. It is a relatively new medical specialty that has only been around for about 20 years. Medical board certification for the hospitalist designation has only been available since 2009. These doctors practice entirely within hospitals, but they must provide the same level of care as doctors who practice in other settings as well.

Many hospitalists specialize in family medicine or internal medicine, which they practice within the hospital setting. Because of that, their work involves primarily caring for people with acute illnesses. In some cases, hospitalists do make errors in the treatment they provide.

The standard of care for hospitalists is that they provide the same level of care that another reasonable hospitalist would in the same situation. Unfortunately, medical malpractice does occur among hospitalists. The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurer, reports that the types of claims filed against hospitalists consist of three main types, including medication errors, wrong or delayed diagnoses and improper management of treatment provided to the patient. These three categories comprised 78 percent of claims that were made between 2007 and 2014, with 35 percent also alleging patient assessments that were inadequate.

When a patient is seriously harmed by a hospitalist, an attorney will look at whether there was hospital negligence involved. This can in many cases be determined through a review of the patient's medical records as well as through opinions of independent medical experts. In some situations, the hospital could be held financially responsible if the hospitalist that committed the error was, as is likely the case, in its employ.

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