The laws in Florida are the same regarding medical malpractice claims against hospitals and their employees and agents as the claims against individual health care providers.
Hospitals are responsible for the negligent acts of their employees when the care rendered to a patient falls below the appropriate standard of care which results in harm to a patient.
This can be complicated, that is why Mr Mitzel offers a
The first question is who are the staff and agents of the hospital and who are not.
For years, hospitals have reduced the number of staff they employ so as to reduce the hospital’s exposure for claims of medmal against them.
This has been done by hiring independent contractors to perform many of the services that some employees used to be responsible for.
For example, now emergency room physicians groups are not hospital employees but are independent contractors.
This is also true, in many cases, of radiologists, pathologists, etc.
Historically, private physicians who render care to their patients are not employees of the hospital.
However, there are now treating doctors in hospitals who are employed by the hospitals that are called Hospitalists.
They are not private physicians but provide care only in hospitals.
Many private doctors prefer not to see their patients in a hospital setting and have only an office practice.
When one of their patients has to be seen at a hospital, it is the hospitalist who is the admitting and primary doctor for the patients care.
Lastly, in some situations, a private doctor who is not an actual employee of the hospital can be determined to be an apparent employee of the hospital.
This is true when the physician and/or the hospital give the appearance that the doctor is an agent of the hospital.