We trust the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers in our lives to protect us from harm. Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath, which is their promise to abide by expected ethical standards to avoid causing harm to their patients. Another term for these expected ethical and operational standards is “standard of care,” which refers to the care that a doctor or other healthcare provider is reasonably expected to facilitate the most complete recovery possible for the patient. When a healthcare provider does not perform to this standard, he or she may be considered to be negligent and thus liable for any damages incurred by victims as a result of his or her negligence.
If you are an injured patient pursuing a medical malpractice claim, your claim needs to prove that your healthcare provider did not perform to the expected standard of care and that this negligence directly caused you to suffer the injury or worsened condition that in turn, caused you to suffer the damages for which you are seeking compensation.
Guidelines for Meeting the Standard of Care
The appropriate standard of care varies from specialty to specialty. For example, the standards of care for diabetes are different from the standards of care for multiple sclerosis. These standards are developed by using the latest research on a particular condition to determine the most effective way to treat it as well as specific issues doctors should understand, such as groups that are particularly vulnerable to the condition and cultural considerations to take when treating it. Discuss these guidelines with your doctor and familiarize yourself with the standard of care for your condition before you schedule your doctor appointment.
There are also more general guidelines that doctors and other hospital staff should follow when working with patients to aid in their accurate diagnosis and recovery. These include:
Fully reviewing the patient’s medical history to aid in diagnosis and treatment;
Maintaining a sterile hospital environment and using only sterile medical equipment;
Using information about the patient to determine an appropriate dosage and type of medication for him or her;
Following up with the patient after treatment to monitor his or her progress;
Screening for conditions at appropriate intervals in the patient’s life and those to which he or she may be susceptible; and
Providing all patients with this high quality of care, regardless of their financial resources or any other trait, such as their race or sexual orientation.
Work with a Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
When you are under a doctor or other healthcare provider’s care, you are owed a level of diligence on the healthcare provider’s part to prevent any unnecessary suffering on your part, such as a worsened condition or an injury. If you suffer because you do not receive this standard of care, consider working with an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Contact Baizer Kolar P.C. today to set up your initial consultation with our small, hands-on team of medical malpractice lawyers.