Understaffing Can Increase the Risk of Medical Malpractice

February 2023

There are many reasons that medical errors occur. One of the errors that may not be obvious at the outset of a medical error is the staffing of the hospital.  A hospital has duty to its patients to adequately staff the hospital.  The failure to adequately staff a hospital can lead to medical malpractice.

 The staff of the hospital is on the front line of medical care.  The medical staff tends to the patient's needs, prepares medical records and administers medication.  A hospital should maintain an approrpriate patient to staff ratio.  If a hospital does not have adequate staff to handle the workload, medical errors can occur.  

Understaffing can result in delayed or inadequate medical treament.  When there are not enough medical professionals available to attend to the patients, treatment may be delayed or not timely provided or not provided at all.   Further, understaffing can result in the staff on duty becoming overworked.  A staff that is overworked may be more prone to making errors, prescribing the wrong medication or misdiagnosing a condition.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a hospital or medical staff, you should consult with legal counsel.  At Herrick & Hart, we offer a free consultation on medical malpractice cases.