For many medical professionals like nurse practitioners, being sued for medical malpractice comes with the job. However, knowing the source of negligence claims can help nurse practitioners avoid the hassle and stress of malpractice suits. We detail some common causes for nurse practitioner negligence claims below.
Failure To Diagnose
Many cases of negligence against nurse practitioners concern diagnosis. While we typically think of doctors and physicians as being responsible for diagnoses, in many instances, nurse practitioners are the ones who diagnose patients. Unfortunately, a nurse practitioner might miss a diagnosis due to misjudgment, lack of organization, or unnoticed symptoms. If a nurse practitioner fails to order additional testing or recommend a specialist for timely medical diagnosis, and the result is harm to the patient, the nurse practitioner may be liable.
Another core responsibility of nurse practitioners is medication. A nurse practitioner can prescribe and administer medication directly to patients. But with the high volume of medication tasks they have, simple mistakes become easy. The nurse practitioner may prescribe the wrong medication, administer the incorrect medication, or administer the incorrect amount. These errors could harm the patient and make the nurse practitioner liable for their injury.
Communication among staff is critical when treating a patient. The nurse practitioner and others involved with the patient’s treatment, like physicians and nurses, should always be current with the patient’s status.
Therefore, communication failures are another of the common causes for nurse practitioner negligence claims. In particular, this claim targets the failure of the nurse practitioner to update the patient’s primary physician or nurse or failure to do so promptly. If a nurse practitioner’s lack of communication with others regarding a patient results in harm to the patient, a malpractice suit of negligence could occur.
Failure To Monitor Patient
Nurse practitioners are also often responsible for monitoring patients, updating their status, and alerting others involved in their treatment. However, personnel resources are often stretched thin in a healthcare facility, and a nurse practitioner must monitor many patients at once. Therefore, a nurse practitioner might fail to monitor a patient or respond promptly, resulting in harm to the patient and a malpractice claim.
While nurse practitioners are well-trained and skilled in many medical procedures, they still make mistakes like the rest of us. However, those mistakes during procedures can harm a patient, and that patient may consider the nurse practitioner negligent.
The injury is not often the nurse practitioner’s fault but rather outdated or unprepared medical equipment. Still, the nurse practitioner must ensure all medical equipment is sufficient for use and not at risk of harming the patient.
Where Nurse Practitioners Can Get Malpractice Insurance
With so many ways that a nurse practitioner could be found liable for negligence, nurse practitioner malpractice insurance is essential. If you need malpractice insurance, Baxter & Associates can help you find a policy that fits your needs and budget today.