An Allied Health expert works with physicians in roles ranging from Respiratory Therapy to Phlebotomy, and may be called as an expert witness.Allied Healthcare providers are instrumental to the daily practice of medicine and surgery. Allied Health is defined as healthcare professions that provide patient care in conjunction with, but distinct from, physicians and nurses. Common Allied Health professions include Medical Assistants, Phlebotomists, Dental Assistants, Surgical Technologists, Radiology and MRI Technologists, Dieticians, Medical Ultrasonographers, and Respiratory Therapists. Each of these healthcare providers works alongside physicians and nurses to facilitate the delivery of patient care. Since each Allied Health expert certifies in a particular profession, the training and certification requirements vary by specialty, while licensure and credentialing differ by state.
An Allied Health expert witness typically testifies regarding standards of care including errors of omission or commission. Since Allied Healthcare professionals rarely work independently, their employers are nearly always liable for their actions under the doctrine of respondeat superior. In terms of the frequency of litigation, the most commonly involved Allied Health professions include Respiratory Therapy (failure to respond to an airway crisis), Radiology Technology (failure to identify or report findings), Dental Hygiene (treatment-related injury), and Emergency Medical Technicians (failure to appropriately treat).
Medical litigation involving Allied Health providers is inherently complex and covers dozens of fields that may be unfamiliar or uncommon.