New Palm Gardens Hospital to Join Universal Health Services’ Florida Sector
On Monday February 1, Universal Health Services, a Fortune 500 healthcare company, announced development plans for a new 7-story, 270-bed hospital after purchasing a 32-acre lot in Palm Beach Gardens. Based out of Pennsylvania, Universal Health is a nationwide healthcare network with over 25 medical facilities in the state of Florida, as listed below.
- Acute Care Hospitals
- Wellington Regional Medical Center
- Manatee Healthcare System
- Lakewood Ranch Medical Center
- Ambulatory Surgery Centers:
- Manatee Diagnostic Center Arcadia
- Manatee Diagnostic Center Pointe West
- Manatee Diagnostic Center Riverside
- Manatee Diagnostic Center Parrish
- Palms Westside Clinic
- Emergency Care:
- Westlake Emergency Room
- Fruitville Emergency Room
- Physician Networks:
- Wellington Physicians Alliance
- Manatee Physicians Alliance
- Behavioral Healthcare:
- Lauderdale Behavioral Health Center
- SandyPines Residential Treatment Center
- Coral Shores Behavioral Health
- Suncoast Behavioral Health Center
- Palm Shores Behavioral Health Center
- Windmoor Healthcare of Clearwater
- Central Florida Behavioral Hospital
- La Amistad Behavioral Health Services
- University Behavioral Center
- Palm Point Behavioral Center
- The Vines Hospital
- Wekiva Springs Center
- River Point Behavioral Health
- Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital
- Gulf Coast Treatment Center
- Okaloosa Youth Academy
Acute Healthcare Hospitals
Acute healthcare is the technical term for a hospital providing short-term treatment for injuries, illness episodes, surgical recovery, or other urgent medical conditions. As medical malpractice is the third highest cause of death in the USA, hospitals may be held responsible when negligence occurs. This may be the case under the premises of negligent hiring, inadequate staffing, and Respondeat Superior, a Latin phrase that holds an employer accountable for the misconduct of an employee.
Another risk that patients face during hospital stays are Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI), an ailment contracted at a medical facility and unrelated to the condition for which the patient was treated. According to Patient CareLink, an online resource that covers a range of topics on safety in medical facilities, HAIs account for 1.7 million infections every year. An estimated 99,000 individuals die annually because of associated ailments.
How Hospitals Can Be Negligent in Causing HAIs: Given the vulnerability of patients and potential risk factors, facilities must take necessary precautions to protect against infection. Organizations need to provide proper training on hand-washing, covering the mouth and nose with masks, and related precautions. Plus, from an organizational standpoint, a hospital may fail in their duties by:
- Not properly sanitizing operating rooms, surgical areas, and other spaces designated for treatment
- Placing residents in accommodations that are too confined or in unsafe proximity to each other
- Understaffing the personnel responsible for cleaning and sanitation
- Failing to sterilize medical devices, equipment and tools
- Improper sanitation of linens
Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Ambulatory Surgical Centers are outpatient, or same-day, clinics that perform a wide variety of procedures including colonoscopies, biopsies, and endoscopies. Procedures such as these are often used to screen for illnesses like cancer. When a healthcare professional fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses cancer, it may constitute medical malpractice if they: are negligent in conducting further screenings when potential signs of cancer are present; fail to clearly communicate with you or your healthcare provider regarding the test results or diagnosis; or if they issue a false positive diagnosis.
It is important to know that while the default statute of limitations is two years for cases of medical malpractice, an exception is made when the claim involves situations where there was a delay in discovery, such as a failure to diagnose cancer. Florida’s statute of limitations includes a four-year “statute of repose” that allows you two additional years from: The point where you that your doctor failed to issue a proper diagnosis or, the date that you should have discovered the mistake through the exercise of due diligence. So while the general statute of limitations is two years from the date you knew or should have known of negligence, it can be no more than four years from the date of the negligent act. The only exception is when there is fraud or concealment.
If a hospital or emergency room’s healthcare providers do not properly diagnose or treat you or your family member before discharge, there can be grave risks or injuries that result once a patient leaves the hospital. The patient may need to be readmitted to the hospital, the condition may worsen, or the injury and recovery period could be increased. For example, if a patient presents to a hospital emergency room with symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, and the doctors or nurses fail to properly diagnose and/or treat the condition before discharge, then the hospital could be liable for the resulting injuries to the patient.
Some indicators of an improper or wrongful discharge are:
- No after-care instructions
- Discharge without diagnostic testing
- Discharge prior to availability of lab, imaging, or other test results
- No follow up appointment
- No diagnosis for a present medical condition
- Continuing to experience severe symptoms
- No physician examination prior to discharge
Over the past year, studies have shown that COVID- related social isolation has been taxing for those struggling with their mental health, creating heightened levels of suicide risk. Economic stress, lack of socialization, reduced access to support communities, and other factors take their toll on individuals who already experience disconnection or depression.
Preventable Suicide Malpractice Hinges on Foreseeability: Some levels of depression are common among many people, but not all will act based upon negative emotions. A smaller proportion of depressed individuals will contemplate suicide as a means of ending mental distress and suffering. If a person does discuss these thoughts with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional, foreseeability becomes an issue – thus raising the potential for a preventable suicide lawsuit. If a mental health professional fails to provide treatment within the standard of care, and that failure results in a suicide, then that healthcare professional may be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice while receiving treatment at one of the Universal Health Services facilities listed above, please contact the attorneys at Freidin Brown, P.A. right away for a free and confidential consultation.