If you suffer harm as a result of negligence or willful wrongdoing by a healthcare provider, you can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. However, if you did not suffer harm but nevertheless feel that the treatment you received was inappropriate or substandard, you can still file a complaint against the provider.
When you report substandard care from a doctor, you should describe what happened and when in as much detail as you can. However, you do not need to use medical jargon or have your complaint corroborated by another health care professional. You can make your report to consumer websites to warn the general public and to the state medical complaint board to inform other health care providers of the difficulties you have had.
When you have had a bad experience with a doctor, you may want to warn other patients to stay away. You can tell your family and friends what you went through directly, but if you want to spread the information more widely, you can post your complaint on a consumer website.
There are well-known consumer organizations that rate all sorts of goods and service providers, including doctors, hospitals, and medical clinics. Examples include Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau. These may be good places to submit your complaint because many members of the general public are likely to look there first for information. However, there are other websites devoted specifically to rating healthcare providers where you can submit your complaint. Healthgrades is one of the best known examples.
State Medical Complaint Boards
In the medical profession, there are supervisory boards in each state whose responsibility it is to receive and evaluate complaints from patients about medical doctors and punish them as deemed necessary. If you believe that you have received substandard care from a doctor, you have a responsibility to report it to the complaint board in your state. This generally involves describing the mistake and identifying all relevant parties by filling out a form. However, the process varies by jurisdiction.
The board will review your complaint and decide whether it deserves disciplinary action. A single complaint may not warrant any punishment on its own, but multiple complaints from different patients may demonstrate a pattern of behavior that the board decides it has to deal with. Therefore, it is important to report the medical error, even if the report seems to have no effect initially.
If you have come to harm as a result of a doctor’s mistake, you can file a medical malpractice suit in addition to making a complaint. A lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm, can evaluate your situation to see if you have a case.