We should all trust our doctors with our wellbeing – but how do we build that trust. With North Carolina medical malpractice cases in the news, it is difficult not to wonder whether our personal doctors have ever been involved in a serious medical malpractice lawsuit or if she has ever made a serious and preventable medical error. Know more about the professional history of your doctor or other medical professional is far from snooping – it is protecting you and your health.
Luckily for North Carolina residents, state lawmakers passed legislation in 2007 that requires the North Carolina Medical Board to publish medical mistakes and medical malpractice information so that patients can search and access this important information. While the website does not include all medical malpractice information (settlements must be above a certain monetary amount to be listed), it will give potential and current a good idea of a doctor’s history in his field. In addition to malpractice information, the website also lists felony convictions, some types of disciplinary action, hospital suspensions, and some misdemeanor charges.
According to statistics, more than half of all doctors will face a medical malpractice lawsuit at some point during their careers. However, a National Practitioner Data Bank study found that the same five percent of doctors are responsible for the great majority of all medical errors and med mal lawsuits.
Some doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies do not wish this information to be so easily accessible on the web, but lawmakers believe that this information could save lives and make doctors more accountable for their actions.
Exactly half of all states publish medical malpractice information on the web for patients.