Patients should have the right to know if other Californians were harmed or died under their doctor’s care. Families should also have the right to know when a hospital takes action on a provider’s hospital privileges and to determine whether the medical board filed an accusation and took action. When the Medical Board has disciplined a doctor, that information should be presented clearly and be easy to find.
Better disclosure online of a physician’s history
- The physician profile summary on the Medical Board’s website is the only place patients can get verified information about their doctor’s record. That profile should clearly state if:
- A doctor has lost hospital privileges.
- Has been charged with a crime for causing serious harm or death of a patient. Currently a provider can be charged with manslaughter due to the death of a patient and that information is not required to be posted on the physician profile.
- Any prior disciplinary actions, including completed license suspensions.
- The physician profile summary should also disclose pending investigations in the most serious cases involving sexual misconduct, serious injury or death. These include:
- When a board investigation has been put on hold pending criminal investigation.
- Investigations into patient harm involving a doctor with a past history of Board discipline for patient harm.
- When the board is investigating a notice of hospital discipline – known as an 805 report.
- All malpractice settlements and judgments.
Improved disclosure in person to patients before an appointment
- When a patient makes an appointment to see a doctor, they should be told the doctor’s disciplinary history if it involves serious patient harm. This should include notification if a doctor:
- Is on probation for causing serious injury or death of a patient
- Criminal charges involving quality of care
- A revocation of hospital privileges
- And if implementation of a license suspension or revocation has been delayed or appealed. The same should apply to restrictions on a doctor’s practice.