As D.C. medical malpractice attorneys, we see the same types of cases against hospitals over and over. They are primarily what we call systems failures - that means its not just the fault of one doctor or one nurse who did not comply with the standard of care, its a system that needs to be changed.
Many times, the doctors don't communicate about a patient - the radiologist doesn't talk to the clinician about the results of an x-ray, CT scan or MRI, or the specialist doesn't talk to the hospitalist about test results, findings and the differential diagnosis. Or there is no plan for the patient at discharge, or they don't communicate with the patient.
Each one of these steps is critical to keeping a patient safe while in the hospital. When it doesn't happen, one doctor's mistake gets compounded and "carried down the line" - for example, a doctor makes the wrong diagnosis but the specialists, residents and fellows don't do anything to challenge or test the diagnosis until its too late and the patient is harmed.