Hospital Liability for Negligent Credentialing

Hospitals are required by law to make sure that their medical professionals are competent and properly credentialed by state licensing boards. Sometimes doctors and other medical providers lack appropriate credentials because of malpractice, disciplinary actions or failure to keep up with continuing education requirements. Patients harmed by unlicensed or incompetent hospital staff may be able to recover damages from the hospital for its negligent credentialing of physicians or other health care providers.

What is Negligent Credentialing?

Negligent credentialing is a tort, or a legal wrong, based on negligence. Negligence is conduct that does not correspond to what a reasonable person would do to protect another individual from a risk of foreseeable harm. Under the law, a person is generally liable for any damages caused by his or her negligent conduct.

Patients go to a hospital expecting that physicians are going to properly diagnose and treat their medical condition. The law imposes a legal duty on the hospital to hire only doctors and staff who are qualified and competent. In other words, hospitals must check to ensure that their medical providers are licensed and in good standing with the appropriate professional boards.

If a hospital fails to carry out its duty to hire only duly licensed and qualified providers, its conduct is negligent. If a patient is harmed by unqualified medical staff, the hospital can be legally responsible for damages along with the responsible medical provider.

An Attorney Can Help

When a hospital does not verify the qualifications of its staff, it puts its patients at an undue risk of being injured. If you have been injured by a physician or other hospital staff member, contact a medical malpractice attorney. As a negligent credentialing issue is not often immediately apparent, an attorney can investigate your situation and determine your options.