FROM THE BLOG
by Eric Czelusta
Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney
The internet can provide you with a wealth of information about the qualifications, experience, and problems that a healthcare facility, physician, or other healthcare provider has had in the past. Below, you will find links to various searchable online databases that are available to anyone who has access to the internet.
You may be curious about whether your physician’s malpractice insurer or your hospital has ever paid a medical malpractice settlement. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation maintains this website https://apps.fldfs.com/PLCR/Search/MPLClaim.aspx which contains a searchable database that allows you to search your doctor or hospital by name. It will tell you whether a malpractice claim was paid on their behalf, general details about the case, and the amount paid.
The Florida Department of Health maintains a searchable database on this website https://appsmqa.doh.state.fl.us/MQASearchServices/Home . It will allow you to search physicians, chiropractors and any licensed healthcare provider by name. It allows you to verify the status of your doctor’s license and it provides a history of disciplinary actions by the State against his or her license including links to documents stating allegations of misconduct and outcomes, as well as arrest history. It provides a summary of the person’s education and training, it tells you if the person is board certified, whether the person is insured for malpractice, whether settlements over one hundred thousand dollars have been paid out in negligence suits, where the person is employed, what hospitals they have privileges to practice at, a list of any academic teaching appointments, professional and other awards, scholarly publications, and in some cases additional information. Much of this information is self-reported by the licensed professional so your research should not stop here.
You can also search the websites for the local clerk of court where the physician practices for pending and past lawsuits. For example, the link below will take you to the Clerk of Court for Pinellas County: https://ccmspa.pinellascounty.org/PublicAccess/default.aspx In some judicial circuits, including Pinellas / Pasco Counties, you can search the clerk’s database by party name to help you research the physician, hospital, nursing home or other healthcare provider’s local litigation history for malpractice claims. In some counties, including Pinellas County, you can actually view court documents online in order to get a better understanding of the allegations involved in past and pending malpractice cases against the healthcare providers.
The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) maintains a searchable database at this website http://www.floridahealthfinder.gov/facilitylocator/FacilitySearch.aspx which will allow you to search for any licensed healthcare facility in Florida including hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, and ambulatory surgical centers. The information contained on this database includes information about services provided, ownership, accreditation, license status, and many other important details about the facility. It will give you information about investigations and outcomes, and it provides links to AHCA reports which include the complaints that led to the investigation, and in some cases, a statement of deficiencies.
At the very least, every decision to hire a physician or healthcare facility should at least start with a google search of that physician’s or hospital’s name. There are many websites that provide information about physicians and hospitals including patient comments and ratings. A more thorough approach in Florida would also encompass using the searchable websites mentioned in this article. Regardless of the approach you decide to use, you owe it to yourself and your health to so some research on who you are considering hiring as your physician or any healthcare facility that you plan to use for patient care.
If you suspect that you have been injured by the negligence of a hospital, doctor or other healthcare provider and you want to investigate further, call us at 727-281-4357 for a free consultation and assistance in researching your healthcare provider.
We represent injured patients in medical malpractice and nursing home cases throughout Tampa Bay and Florida. Including Pinellas County, Pasco County, and Hillsborough County.