In the past, we’ve written about how difficult it can be to find information about a doctor or surgeon. In part, the lack of information is due to privacy laws, but overly strict non-disclosure clauses in medical malpractice cases and the closed-mouth medical community contributes to the problem. New resources are becoming available that can help you get the information you need about who is treating you and your family.
Boingboing.net reports, “Using Freedom of Information requests, Consumer Reports has extracted doctors’ probation records for California, assembling them into a searchable spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is part of the Safe Patient Project, which also includes a state-by-state ranking of medical boards’ websites, scoring them on searchability, transparency, and comprehensiveness.”
New tools seem to be popping up left and right, which is excellent news for patients. Propublica, a self-described independent non-profit newsroom, offers databases like “Dollars for Docs,” which lets you see how much money your doctor has received from drug makers. The organization also provides patient safety reports and a Medicare “Treatment Tracker” that details payments to doctors and other health professionals.
Healthgrades allows patients to evaluate doctors and doctors to maintain an active profile. From their site, “Healthgrades’ commitment to quality and transparency in healthcare is core to our mission. At Healthgrades, we integrate the same three factors that physicians themselves agree are most important when selecting or referring a healthcare provider (patient satisfaction, experience match, and the quality of the hospital where a physician provides care).”
While the availability and quality of available information continues to increase, there are still no guarantees. Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the country, and there is no significant plan in place to reduce that number. When you or a loved one is injured at the hands of a medical professional, you deserve to be compensated.
The experienced Nashville medical malpractice attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Visit our offices in Knoxville, Gallatin, or Nashville, call 615.246.5549 or contact us today for a free consultation.