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Hospitalists show potential to reduce obstetric malpractice

Hospitals in North Carolina that partner with hospitalist groups often increase their response time when patients require immediate care. Hospitalists are physicians that work exclusively within hospitals, often under contract through third-party hospitalist groups. Those who practice as obstetricians are available to treat women experiencing labor and delivery complications. They are on duty as opposed to on call, which means that women receive care in emergency situations faster than if an obstetric hospitalist had not been available.

Delays in care represent a very common accusation within medical malpractice lawsuits related to labor and delivery. Obstetrics is particularly prone to litigation. A bad outcome for a mother or an infant often results in allegations against the attending physician. Injured infants tend to elicit sympathy from juries as well.

Obstetric hospitalists appear able to cut down negative events that trigger lawsuits. A study within one large hospital system credited its partnership with a hospitalist company with a 31 percent reduction in severe harm events. Having these workers on duty around the clock also gives other obstetricians the ability to take nights off and lessen their chances of becoming burned out in their careers.

Although hospitals continue to pursue strategies to improve care, when an individual experiences harm because of physician or hospital negligence, a lawsuit might be necessary. A person could consult an attorney knowledgeable about the legal standards that apply to medical cases. With legal representation, a person might gain testimony from an independent physician who might confirm that medical mistakes took place. A lawyer could help a person evaluate the suitability of a settlement offer should one be forthcoming. If a trial becomes necessary, then an attorney could inform the jury of the reasons that the person needs compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost income.

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