This month, the North Carolina Medical Board will begin to publicly report some medical malpractice information on their site from cases taking place throughout the state. This new public reporting system was recently approved by the state Rules Review Commission, which oversees the North Carolina Administrative Code, despite some protest by doctors and doctors’ associations that the system was unfair and provided too much information that may be misleading to readers.
Starting on October 1, all licensed North Carolina physicians and physician assistants will be subject to the postings, as the site will report all medical malpractice judgments, awards, payments, and settlements greater than $25,000. The board will also report all cases of medical malpractice that have occurred in the last seven years.
What does this mean to you as a patient or potential patient? You can now look up the doctors who have been sued for medical malpractice. However you should keep in mind that the database only covers the last seven years and cases of $25,000 or more. You should also note that specific instances of medical malpractice range for gross negligence to less serious mistakes in which negligence was not a factor – make sure you understand the particulars of your doctor’s medical malpractice history before you switch medical professionals.