Liability For Premature Discharge From The ER
When you have to visit the emergency room for treatment of an urgent medical issue, you certainly want to get the care you need quickly so recovery can begin. Florida hospital emergency departments are busy places, and they can easily become overcrowded to the point where there is pressure to get patients moving along after treatment. At times, ER staff may prematurely release someone, a problem that is closely monitored under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). This initiative monitors how often patients are forced to return to the hospital within 30 days of receiving care.
Health care facilities can lose federal funding when readmission rates are high because the figures indicate negligence, specifically wrongful discharge from the ER. If you suffered harm under such circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim. You can trust a Tampa medical malpractice lawyer to enforce your rights, though an overview is helpful.
How Wrongful Discharge is Malpractice: The basis of the claim is medical negligence under Florida law, which is defined as a breach of the standard of care that applies to the health care provider and situation. When the breach causes harm to a patient, the practitioner may be held accountable.
ER staff would be held to the same standard as hypothetical providers who also work under these conditions and have similar training and skill. In the emergency room, the duty of care would require the patient to be properly diagnosed, treated and stabilized before being discharged. All of these tasks take time, but health care practitioners may overlook signs that the patient is not ready for release.
If there are lingering health issues, the proper decision would likely be admission to the hospital for further treatment. Prematurely discharging the patient could lead to exacerbation of the medical condition, a longer recovery period, or a trip back to the ER.
Recognize the Signs of Wrongful Discharge: There are some indications that you may have been prematurely released, in which case the hospital and individual health care providers might be liable for ER errors. Examples include:
- A physician did not examine you before discharge.
- You are still in pain or suffering the same symptoms that brought you to the ER.
- You were released without going through diagnostic screenings, such as lab work, x-rays, or imaging tests.
- You did undergo screenings, but ER staff discharged you before reviewing the results.
- Health care providers did not give a diagnosis of your medical condition.
- Upon release, you were not provided with instructions for at-home care.
- ER staff did not schedule a follow up appointment with your primary care physician.
Speak to a Tampa, FL ER Errors Attorney About Wrongful Discharge
Being released from the emergency room too soon can have serious consequences, so it is important to discuss options with our team at Greco & Wozniak P.A. For additional details, please call 813.223.7849 or visit us online to schedule a no-cost case evaluation. We can meet with you at our Tampa, FL offices to listen to your story and advise you on next steps.