Why Must Hospitals Check for Authorization When Discharging a Patient to Someone?

doctor showing documents to family member of patientWhen someone suffers an injury or develops a condition, they may be admitted into the hospital for further care and treatment. When it comes time to discharge the patient, however, there must be certain protocols in place to ensure patient safety.

One thing that must be at the top of the priority list is for the hospital to discharge the patient to someone who is authorized. There are significant repercussions when a patient is discharged to someone who is unauthorized. Here’s why:

Authorized Individuals Understand the Needs of the Patient

When someone is discharged from a hospital, they should go where they can continue receiving care with someone who will recognize their needs and take direction from the hospital. An authorized party (usually listed by the patient) would know how to help the patient after being discharged.

Someone who just shows up without being authorized or listed may not understand what medication the patient may need or the types of issues that they may encounter. It may be overwhelming and the patient may endure harm as a result.

The Hospital’s Responsibility

Unfortunately, there are several problems that can arise if the hospital discharges a patient incorrectly. One of the aspects of medical malpractice—in fact it’s a never event—is a patient protection mistake in which someone who cannot care for themselves is discharged to an unauthorized party and they suffer injury, disability or death.

In this situation, the hospital may be held liable for all damages or losses sustained by the patient and/or the family of the patient should a fatal injury occur. The facility can be the subject of a medical malpractice event.

At Spangenberg Shibley & Liber, we understand the significant dangers associated with discharge policies being broken. Patients are put in harm’s way and the hospital should be held fully responsible for any injuries sustained.

Our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys are ready to stand by your side in difficult and complex matters. We’re committing to hold hospitals accountable for any and all harm they wrongfully cause. Let us protect your rights moving forward.

Call us at (216) 600-0114 today and discover your rights.


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