One of a hospital’s most vital functions is to screen its medical staff to ensure that only competent physicians are allowed to practice at its facilities. This is referred to as the process of credentialing. Credentialing is a stringent process that involves a series of screenings that hospitals undertake to ensure that physicians are properly vetted and patients receive the highest level of care.
It is the responsibility of hospitals to properly credential its physicians to protect patients from harm. A hospital that is negligent in this credentialing process can find itself liable when an improperly vetted physician’s malpractice results in harm to a patient.
Generally, negligent credentialing occurs in two ways: (1) where the hospital had an appropriate credentialing process but did not follow it; or (2) where the hospital followed its credentialing process, but the process itself was inappropriate.
The credentialing process must include, at a minimum:
- verification of all medical training and education;
- verification of all claimed medical licenses;
- verification of all Board Certifications;
- investigation into any disciplinary actions; and
- examining and making inquiries with certain agencies that could reveal red flags.
The duty of credentialing is also what is referred as a continuing duty. One a physician has been credentialed and granted privileges to practice medicine at the hospital, the hospital has an on-going duty to monitor a physician’s performance and competency.
When hospitals establish and follow sound credentialling practices and properly monitor physicians, patient injuries resulting from medical malpractice can be reduced. When they are negligent in the credentialing process and a patient is injured as a result, the hospital can be held liable. They can even be held liable even a physician lies to them about their credentials.
Contact a Lawyer for Help With Your Claim
When a patient is injured as a result of a doctor’s negligent care, it is unlikely that the patient’s family will know whether that doctor was properly credentialed. Our firm is experienced in investigating claims arising out of a doctor’s negligence, including whether the hospital was negligent in granting the physician privileges.
If you have been suffered a medical injury such as:
- Delayed cancer diagnosis;
- Surgical or procedural error;
- Prescription drug error; or
- Birth injury
you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can investigate your case and identify all liable parties to help you recover damages for your injuries. We offer free, confidential case evaluations and will work on a contingency basis, which means if we do not help you make a recovery, there are no fees or expenses owed to us.