Hospitals in New York and across the United States are turning to obstetrician hospitalists to cut down on physician and nurse burnout. An added benefit of this strategy is better patient care and a reduction in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Obstetrician hospitalists are dedicated in-house doctors who only work in a hospital setting. This means they don’t have other professional responsibilities, such as tending to private practice patients, vying for their attention. It also means they are already in the hospital, ready to respond to any emergencies that may occur during labor and delivery. This can be critical in preventing medical malpractice claims.
The vast majority of labors go well. However, when an unexpected complication occurs, the top malpractice allegation is delay of care. By having a dedicated on-site obstetrician at the hospital, there is no delay in care, which means the risk of a severe harm event is reduced. For example, one major health care system saw its OB severe harm events dip by 31 percent after it began using obstetrician hospitalists. Experts say that having a dedicated OB hospitalist also relieves pressure on the hospital nursing staff, which is often overworked and forced to cover for missing doctors.
Every minute counts when something goes wrong during childbirth. If a mother suffers an injury due to delay of care during labor, she has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. Likewise, if the baby suffers a birth injury due to doctor negligence, his or her parents could file a claim against the doctor and/or hospital responsible for the injury. Victims of medical malpractice could learn more about their legal rights by consulting with an attorney.
Source: Healthcare Finance, "Obstetrician hospitalist partnerships can reduce risk of medical malpractice claims, burnout", Jeff Lagasse, April 9, 2018