What is the “Standard of Care?”

Female doctor talking to female patient.

Understanding Patients' Rights

In the United States, all patients expect to have rights when it comes to their healthcare — but many are uninformed about what those rights are and how they protect them. The National Law Review states the following:

"Standard of care, in a medical malpractice action, means that a healthcare provider must possess the same knowledge and skill, and exercise the same level of care, that is normally provided by other healthcare providers in that field."

So what does the above mean for patients under the care of medical professionals? Learn what the law says about the medical standard of care that a patient is entitled to receive.

How is the Standard of Care used to Measure Negligence in Medical Malpractice Claims?

It's critical to understand that "standard of care" is a legal term, not a medical term. In a medical malpractice case, the main question is, "Would a similarly skilled medical provider have cared for the patient with the same treatment under the same or similar circumstances?" If the answer is "no" and the patient was harmed due to substandard treatment, then the patient may have a medical malpractice claim.

Related Article: Is it Difficult to Prove Medical Malpractice?

Examples of Violations of the Standard of Care

When it comes to medical negligence, the following are some common examples of severe mistakes that medical professionals make that can change the course of a person's life forever:

  • Failure to diagnose
  • Ignoring instructions from a supervisor or advisor (an intern ignored directions from an experienced doctor or nurse)
  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient
  • Performing surgery on the wrong body part
  • Violations of a patient's privacy (for example, HIPAA law violations)
  • Leaving medical instruments inside a patient's body
  • Not correctly documenting data into a patient's medical chart

Related article: Recognizing The Different Types of Medical Malpractice

How To Get Help After Being Harmed By a Medical Professional

Suffering an injury or having a condition worsen due to a medical professional not giving you the standard of care can be a devastating situation. Know that you are not alone, and our team of medical malpractice lawyers is here to help you seek justice. We are ready to answer your questions, explain your legal options and fight to protect your rights.

Learn if you are eligible to obtain financial compensation for your losses. Schedule a consultation with an attorney at Grewal Law PLLC by calling (888) 211-5798 today.


National Law Review: Proving a Violation of the Standard of Care

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