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California’s Board of Nursing Reprimanded for Investigation Delays That Risk the Safety of Patients

Safety PatientsHealthcare workers are not overseen by a government entity. Instead, they are monitored and held accountable by a board of their same-profession peers. Charged with protecting the public, this same board is responsible for the licensing, complaints, and disciplinary action of the healthcare professionals within that state. For example, nurses in California are licensed and disciplined by the California Board of Nursing. It is this specific board that an auditor recently reprimanded. They are being accused of investigation delays that are compromising patient safety. What might this mean for you and your loved ones? The following explains.

Understanding the Role of the Board

While most nurses are compassionate people who only want to treat and help their patients, there are those that act negligently. When the Board receives complaints on these nurses, they are supposed to investigate them for any signs of wrongdoing. If they find evidence, the nurse is then supposed to be disciplined, either through a suspension or revocation of their license, diversion (such as completing a rehabilitation program), or through continuing education credits to ensure they do not make the same mistake again. Nurses can also be fined for their mistakes and may be subject to drug or alcohol screenings if they are under diversion.

California Board of Nursing’s Delays

An auditor recently reviewed the California Board of Nursing’s handling of patient complaints and allegedly found serious delays in resolving them. For example, one nurse was allegedly caught administering the wrong dose of medication to a toddler, which ultimately resulted in the child’s death. An audit revealed that this complaint went unresolved for approximately 18 months – during which time, the nurse continued treating other patients.

What the Delays Mean for Patients

Timely investigations and disciplinary actions help to keep the public safe. They ensure that negligent nurses and doctors are not allowed to continue treating patients. Medical boards also oversee concerns over doctors and nurses who are suffering from mental illness, physical illness, and other issues that may otherwise compromise their ability to practice medicine safely. Without this safeguard in place, patients experience an increased risk of medical malpractice. Considering this is already the third leading cause of death throughout the United States, it is a risk that patients simply cannot afford.

When Someone You Love is Injured

If you or someone you love has been injured by a medical error, it is critical that you seek assistance from a skilled attorney. Committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve, Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP is the firm to trust. Schedule a free consultation with our San Jose medical malpractice lawyers by calling (408) 289-1417 today.

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