The legal concept of medical malpractice is not limited to the behavior of doctors, but also applies to anyone within the scope of employment, such as nurses, anesthesiologists, medical institutions, pharmaceutical companies and other people providing medical services.
The main purpose of malpractice litigation is to prove the fault that causes personal injury – usually the employer is responsible for the actions of employees, such as doctors or other people directly related to medical services, who make the wrong decision. Sometimes other entities, such as parental liability or joint negligence, are also victims and can be prosecuted in claims for medical accidents.
A hospital is a company of a public or private entity. In the context of medical malpractice, hospitals can be directly responsible for their own negligence, and can also be “vigorously” responsible for the negligence of employees. Substitution liability means that one party is not responsible for his own fault, but for the fault of the other party.
The medical staff of the hospital will be composed of licensed doctors and other licensed health care providers, such as nurses, physician assistants and licensed nurses. When hospitals employ medical staff, they must make reasonable inquiries about the education, training and permission of the applicants. If the hospital fails to make a reasonable inquiry of its medical staff, if the negligence of the medical staff hurts the patient, the hospital may assume the responsibility of oversight or retention according to the “corporate negligence” theory. A hospital may be held responsible for its own negligence, for example, where it did not investigate the qualifications of the attending physician before granting privileges to the attending physician; or where it allowed incompetent physicians it knew or should have been incompetent to treat patients in the hospital.
Hospitals are also required to ensure that a sufficient number of registered nurses are on duty at all times to maintain high quality patient care. Hospitals that do not do so may harm patients due to inadequate care. Another potential area of responsibility arises when the staff of the hospital fails to comply with the orders of the patient’s personal attending physician. On the contrary, if the staff of the hospital find that the treatment plan of the private doctor is obviously prohibited, but the doctor does not make a reasonable inquiry about the treatment plan, the hospital may also be held responsible.