The way the system is designed, in all geographical areas that I know of, the institution is stacked to win any case. Hospitals are a business like any other and their main goal is to make money and stave off lawsuits.
They make money by donations, grants, government funding, Medicaid funding, and the like. They are funded by local companies and one big funding source is pharmaceutical companies and companies that make medical devices. Teaching hospitals have an arrangement with the corresponding university, and the local communities they serve.
If the hospital isn’t filling enough beds, they risk losing a lot of money including various grants. Some hospitals are guilty of filling beds by coercion just because they need to keep their numbers up.
If you are harmed by a physician, look to who it is that the doctor has to answer to. If you have Medicare you can file a complaint with them or t0 whatever insurance you have. They pay the doctor, after all. You can tell them not to pay for services you never received, for instance.
Also you can complain to the licensing board. This is one of the most effective ways to get action. When you write your complaint, stick to the concrete and try to stay away from sweeping generalizations. Watch for words like “always” or “everyone” when really you mean “some of the time,” or “twice,” and specify exactly the people you are talking about rather than using “everyone.” Don’t overuse exclamation points nor use all caps if possible.
Unless you’re quoting the doctor, leave swear words out of the review. But if he/she said a swear word to you, of course, say so!
I know it is hard because malpractice patients are angry and exhausted. The hospitals and doctors that harmed you are counting on you being too exhausted to complain. They’re hoping you give up! Don’t!
I’ve had very good results going to my state representative. They’ve been very responsive and tend to follow up. You can also try the attorney general. I would steer away from organizations such as “disability rights” in ANY area. Why? Because these are run chiefly by the state and, to my knowledge, don’t ever help anyone, even in cases of grave patient harm.
Private attorneys are hard to get. I’d suggest if you already have an attorney, go through him or her and ask him for a referral to one is knowledgeable about patient harm. If your doctor has broken the law or if an institution broke the law in the course of your care, a crime victims’ organization may be able to steer you in the right direction.
What about calling the police? YES! You can do this! You CAN call the police from a hospital. Don’t call from a hospital phone, call from a cell. My suggestion is not to say you’re a mental patient or most will just ignore the call! The state rep I talked to said I should have contacted the police when I was deprived of water at MGH.
I would not expect much from other providers as they rarely speak out against each other even in the worst abuse cases. They might even try to silence you, just to cover the perp’s hide, or defend the perp and make you feel like it was all your fault. Be careful.