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When comparing hospitals and doctors, there's a better way than relying on online reviews

Painter Law Firm's frequently asked question (FAQ) series

Marketing and focus group research has provided surprising information about the number one factor that many people use to choose a hospital or doctor: Convenience. It reminds me of how realtors are fond of talking about one thing, “location, location, location.”

I recently presented a client for deposition in a tragic birth injury case. Based on delays in delivery, her child developed a permanent birth-related brain injury and cerebral palsy. When a defense attorney asked how she picked her obstetrician (OB/GYN physician), she testified that she looked online for someone near her house and then checked Google reviews.

There’s a better way to choose, though.

While, unfortunately, Texas laws conceal under privileges lots of documents and information about adverse events and outcomes at hospitals, there are still some available ways to do some basic research facilities. One of my favorites is The Leapfrog Group’s hospital ratings. You can do a free search here.

Similarly, physicians are required to report claims, lawsuits, and settlements to the National Practitioner Databank. Every time they apply to work at a new hospital, administrators query the database before making a decision on whether to grant staff privileges. That information is unavailable to the public under federal law, but some comparable information is free and accessible.

When considering a new doctor or surgeon, check the Texas Medical Board’s searchable database, which you can access here. You can access useful information including a doctor’s medical school and training, board certifications, hospital privileges, and past disciplinary history.

I you’ve been seriously injured because of poor hospital or medical care in Texas, then contact a top-rated Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer for help in evaluating your potential case.

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.


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