“Breach of care” and “duty of care” are related concepts in the field of healthcare, specifically in nursing. While they are closely related, they have distinct meanings and implications.
What Is Duty of Care?
Duty of care refers to the legal and ethical obligation of a healthcare professional to provide safe and appropriate care to a patient. It is a fundamental principle of healthcare that requires healthcare professionals to act in the best interests of their patients and to provide care that meets the accepted standards of their profession.
Duty of care is a general term that encompasses all the legal, ethical, and professional obligations of a healthcare professional to their patients.
What Is Breach of Care?
Breach of care refers to a specific instance when a healthcare professional fails to meet their duty of care obligations. It occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide care that meets the accepted standards of their profession or fails to act in the best interests of their patients.
A breach of care can take many forms, including neglect, medication errors, failure to document or communicate important information, and failure to follow appropriate infection control protocols.
Duty of Care vs. Breach of Care
One important difference between the two is that duty of care is a general principle that applies to all healthcare professionals, while breach of care is a specific instance where a healthcare professional fails to meet their duty of care obligations. Duty of care is an ongoing responsibility, while breach of care is an event that occurs at a specific point in time.
Another important difference is that duty of care is proactive in nature. It requires healthcare professionals to take steps to prevent harm and ensure patient safety, while breach of care is reactive. It occurs as a result of harm caused by a failure to meet duty of care obligations.
In addition, duty of care can be influenced by the organizational culture, policies, and procedures. Breach of care is an individual action or inaction of a healthcare professional.
Nurse Breach of Duty and Litigation
When a healthcare professional breaches their duty of care, they may be held liable for any harm or injury that results. This can include not only physical harm but also emotional or psychological harm.
In some cases, a breach of care may even result in a patient’s death. Patients who believe they have suffered harm as a result of a breach of care can file a complaint with the appropriate regulatory body or take legal action against the healthcare professional or facility. If death occurred, the filing may be done by a family member.
If you are facing charges of breach of care and you need support in mediation or the courtroom, please contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm to set up a consultation.