“Bedside manner” refers to how a doctor behaves towards a patient. A physician who displays a positive bedside manner may be upbeat, reassuring, and calming. Poor bedside manner could involve a doctor being curt, rude, or condescending. Still, a doctor with poor bedside manners may provide a patient with quality care. However, terrible bedside manners could veer into medical malpractice, leading the doctor into a New York courtroom.
Poor bedside manners and malpractice
A doctor who doesn’t listen to a patient or discourages them from asking questions could commit a dangerous mistake. Ignoring a patient’s concerns or responses could lead to a misdiagnosis or worse. If the patient suffers any harm due to the health care provider’s unprofessional conduct, a lawsuit could follow.
The New England Journal of Medicine points out a somewhat alarming figure. Nearly one-third of paid medical malpractice claims are filed against 1% of physicians. That infers the same physicians continue to make errors repeatedly. Negligence, poor communication skills, and weak bedside manners may factor into the reasons for so many repeat instances.
Hospitals and other health care facilities that don’t address problems with doctors, nurses, and other staff could find themselves facing lawsuits. Allowing unprofessional and unsafe behaviors to persist could provide the basis for a negligence claim.
Medical malpractice claims
A successful medical malpractice claim could cover losses a patient or their family suffers. Sometimes, the claim may be substantial, as with wrongful death suits.
Potential litigants must prove negligence to win a lawsuit. Poor bedside manners might not rise to a level of negligence, as the victim must suffer harm due to a physician’s actions or omissions.