Minimizing Exposure to Medical Malpractice Litigation

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety presented at the American Conference Institute’s Medical Professional Liability conference on October 31, 2014 on steps hospitals can take to implement preventative measures to minimize their exposure to medical malpractice litigation.

According to a study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), after heart disease and cancer, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

“Minimizing the risk of litigation should start well before the lawyers get involved,” said Michael Wong, JD (executive director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety). “Hospitals would do well to be aware of the drivers of risk. These include making sure protocols are observed, identifying high-risk patients, and ensuring documentation is complete.”

Speaking on the panel with Mr. Wong were:

  • Lesli Giglio, RN, MPA, CPHRM, Director; Regulatory Affairs/Risk Management Patient Safety Officer; Privacy Officer, St. Francis Hospital
  • Jennifer L. Green, Senior Claims Analyst, Healthcare Malpractice Claims Department, AIG
  • Catherine Walberg, Senior Vice President, Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company
  • Roger E. Harris, Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers, LLP

Examples that the panel will cite include:

  • Observing protocols, such as continuously monitoring patients when on patient-controlled analgesia according to the PCA Safety Checklist and observing turn protocols to prevent pressure ulcers as recently released by The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.
  • Identifying high-risk patients, such as those for pregnant mothers as set forth in the OB VTE Safety Recommendations.
  • Ensuring documentation is complete, such as confirming that pressure ulcer turn protocols and VTE risk assessment of the pregnant mother are documented, preferably automatically into electronic records.

To view a copy of the presentation, please click ACI Presentation.

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