Melito & Adolfsen P.C.
U.S. and International Litigation Firm New York City And The World
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March 2015 Archives

Nursing Home Lawsuits - The Need to Ensure Best Practices in Clinical Record Keeping

As more and more lawyers focus their attention on bringing claims against Skilled Nursing Facilities in the State of New York, we cannot underestimate the importance of ensuring best practices in clinical record keeping. Because most claims against Skilled Nursing Facilities focus on the formation or care of pressure ulcers and/or patient accidents/falls within the facility, the most critical of medical records for defending many of these claims is more often than not the Certified Nursing Accountability Record. Certified Nursing Assistants, who are primarily responsible for transferring patients and assisting patients in their activities of daily living, fill out this Medical Record to account for and to substantiate that they performed their care obligations in conformance with the established Care Plan for the particular patient.

In New York, when is a Nursing Home or Hospital liable for the malpractice of a doctor who treats one of its patients? -- Mduba and the question of agency.

In New York, some courts have held that "the person who avails himself of hospital facilities has a right to expect satisfactory treatment from any personnel who are furnished by the hospital." Mduba v. Benedictine Hospital 52 A.D.2d 450, 384 N.Y.S.2d 527 (3rd Dept. 1976). In Mduba,the court held that a doctor who is under contract with the hospital to render emergency care is liable for the doctor's acts under the theory of agency. The court reasoned that "patients entering the hospital through the emergency room could properly assume that the treating doctor and staff of the hospital were acting on behalf of the hospital." The rationale is that of Agency and that one may sue a Principal "in the reasonable belief that the services are being rendered by the employer or his servants."