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Florida health care facilities and liability issues

A patient expects to receive competent care at a medical facility, but the actions of an unqualified or inadequately trained staff member could result in the quality of care being substandard. In some cases, such issues can even result in adverse events for a patient. Problems could range from medication errors to inability to deal with a medical emergency. While the pain or injuries resulting from such incidents may vary, the occurrence of medical errors due to unqualified staffing can undermine the reputation of a medical facility while posing risks to future patients.

Chapter 766 of the 2014 Florida Statutes addresses the issue of liability of health care facilities. It details the duty of health care institutions to ensure that personnel, including medical staff, are carefully selected and reviewed for competence. Additionally, these facilities are deemed to be liable in the event of failure to carry out these duties with due care. Each such center is expected to have a written policy related to selecting and periodically reviewing staff in relation to medical care rendered to patients. A risk management program is also to be developed and adopted by each such medical center.

Facilities are expected to be adequately insured so that medical injuries related to omissions or negligent acts are covered. The context of a medical error could affect the direction of a medical malpractice claim.

A medication error based on a provider's incorrect directions might be attributed to the actions of that professional. If an allergy to a prescribed medication is noted in a patient's records, both the individual prescribing the drug and the individual administering the drug might be deemed liable along with the medical care facility.

Source: Online Sunshine, "766.110 Liability of health care facilities.—", October 13, 2014

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