Nurses Must Be Held Accountable For Medical Errors On Their Watch

Nursing malpractice is as serious a problem in the medical care field as is physician malpractice. Nurses are increasingly on the front lines when it comes to day-to-day health care providing in hospitals and other health care settings. Doctors are often under pressure from insurers, hospitals and group medical practices to see more patients more quickly. Often, it is nurses who administer medications, maneuver patients and otherwise deliver care. When a nurse ignores established procedures and the result is serious injury or death of a patient, the injured person or family members may have cause to bring a claim for compensation.

Common Nursing Errors Result In Legal Action

Nurses' errors in medical care often include one or more of the following:

  • Medication errors
  • Misinterpretation of doctors' orders
  • Medical decisions that should fall under the direct authority of doctors
  • Miscommunication with doctors, pharmacists, therapists or nurses' aides
  • Miscommunication among different departments in a hospital: for example, between a surgical ward and an after-surgery care department
  • Failure of nurses to follow established chain-of-command policies
  • Failure of nurses to properly supervise certified nursing assistants (CNAs) under their direction

Our Attorneys Are Leaders In Medical Care Policymaking

Britcher Leone, LLC, has been at the forefront of policymaking in the area of medical care safety practices in New Jersey. Our staff includes Armand Leone Jr., a Board Certified Physician and attorney, as well as partner E. Drew Britcher, certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney. Mr. Britcher participated in crafting the final language used in the New Jersey Patient Safety Act, which passed into law in 2004. This law requires that when a medical error has serious repercussions, that error be investigated and the root causes analyzed in an attempt to prevent future similar medical mistakes.

As the state's website explains, "The statute was designed to improve patient safety in hospitals and other health care facilities by establishing a medical error reporting system. [The] system promotes comprehensive reporting of adverse patient events, systematic analysis of their causes, and creation of solutions that will improve health care quality and save lives." (Source: http://www.state.nj.us/health/ps/). This law pertains to nursing errors as well as doctors' errors, pharmacy errors and other types of medical mistakes.