It’s reasonable to assume that visiting a licensed provider is enough to ensure quality care. The licensing board is in place for a reason, after all.
Since revoking a doctor’s license can be a lengthy process, however, confirming your physician’s allowance to practice doesn’t necessarily guarantee they’ve always abided by the standards of care when treating patients.
If you want to gauge a provider’s competence with some degree of certainty, reviewing their history of malpractice complaints is a far better way to do so. Because neither doctors nor hospitals are required to disclose this history, though, it’s ultimately up to patients to do their own research. Thankfully, there are a number of credible places where you can find actions that have been taken against those whom you’re considering turning to for care.
Let’s take a look at some of the most reputable resources for researching malpractice complaints:
1. State Licensing Boards
Many state licensing boards include information about disciplinary actions, including past suspensions. If the physician you’ll be seeing is licensed in Florida, you can search for their licensing history on the Florida Board of Medicine website. And if you want more details about your findings, you can reach out to the Board directly.
Run by the Federation of State Medical Boards, DocInfo is a database that contains background information on nearly one million licensed practitioners around the country. This information often includes formal reprimands and other disciplinarian actions that have been taken against the providers in question.
3. State Health Departments
Every state has a department of health, which is responsible for logging unsafe conditions, improper procedures, and substandard care at medical facilities. If you come across any such issues when researching the hospital where you’ll be treated, you may want to seek care elsewhere.
4. Court Records
If your doctor has faced any formal lawsuits, you should be able to find the associated documents in the municipalities where the cases were filed. Many court records are available online, though you may have to do some digging to find them.
Keep in mind, however, that some patients file frivolous suits, and most physicians will be named in an action at some point in their careers. As such, you should consider the circumstances surrounding any lawsuits that you do find before changing providers.
It’s also important to remember that most medical malpractice claims are settled. As such, you can’t assume a doctor has never made a mistake just because they’ve never faced a formal lawsuit. In order to gain a clear understanding of a physician’s history, you’re going to want to search multiple databases for different kinds of transgressions.
Speak with a Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney
At Emerson Straw, we’re proud to advocate for patients who have been wronged. If you suffered from complications that could have been prevented had your provider followed the most widely accepted standards of care, you deserve justice. Fill out our Online Contact Form or call (727) 821-1500 to schedule a free case review with a medical malpractice lawyer in Florida.