Malpractice, Patient Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Malpractice Cases Likely to Rise Post-COVID Due to Delayed Diagnosis

At the recent Crittenden Medical Insurance Conference held virtually from April 13-14, 2021, Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS)) predicted that malpractice cases will likely rise post-COVID due to delayed diagnosis.

Presenting with Mr. Wong were:

  • Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD (Mary Jane and Lino Sertel Professor of Pulmonary Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine) 
  • Jason P. Kirkness, Ph.D. (Medicine), ATSF (Drug/Device Discovery and Development Committee, American Thoracic Society; VP Medical and Clinical Affairs, 4DMedical)

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Malpractice, Patient Safety

Risks and Liabilities of Delayed Diagnosis During COVID-19

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) is pleased to announce that it will be moderating a panel discussion on the risks and liabilities of delayed diagnosis during COVID-19 at the upcoming Crittenden Medical Insurance Conference to be held virtually from April 13-14, 2021. If you would like to attend the Conference, please register here.

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Malpractice, Patient Safety

5 Patient Safety Blunders Healthcare Staff Must Avoid

Editor’s note – This is an opinion piece about patient safety errors that healthcare staff need to avoid.

By Katherine Rundell (Medical Writer)

Patient safety outcomes should be the first priority in healthcare facilities. Unfortunately, many mistakes such as medication errors, patient mix ups, and data management failures lead to deaths and prolonged illness in patients every year – but with vigilance and proper systems in place, many of these errors can be avoided. The first step is education, so read on to discover the five safety mistakes healthcare staff need to avoid.

Medication Errors

Providing patients with the wrong medication can have catastrophic consequences, and yet this is a common mistake in healthcare facilities with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating medication error causes at least one death every day. Medication mix ups are easy when clinicians are overworked, providing countless patients with complex cocktails of medication each day.

Medication errors include mixing up patients to provide the wrong medication completely or errors in dosage that stem from mathematical mistakes. Eliminating medication errors can be taken on systematically by providing a medication safety officer to oversee your medication procedures.

HAI (Hospital Acquired Infection)

When people are suffering they turn to hospitals and healthcare facilities for help – yet too many people are acquiring new medical issues in hospitals when they should be recuperating. Hospital acquired infection includes a range of issues such as superbugs bred and strengthened  in the hospital environment, pneumonia and bloodstream infections. Because hospitals provide a hub for various ailments, these can spread between patients if healthcare staff aren’t cautious.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff hygiene protocol is essential in the protection of patients from HAI. Nurses and other staff should have a post-patient procedure which makes it safe for them to move on to new patients without the risk of infecting them.

Patient Mix Ups

Treating the wrong patient is a common safety mistake in healthcare facilities and one that’s entirely down to human error. Errors in treating the right patient extend beyond mismedicating.  Because multiple staff members will be treating patients at any one time, it’s easy for wires to be crossed when staff communicate about patients, resulting in tests being applied to the wrong patient, treatments to be misapplied and even discharge to take place accidentally.

Eliminating patient mix ups is something every healthcare facility can achieve by putting rigorous systems in place and ensuring staff are adequately trained and supported. Cross referencing patient names with date of birth before any action is taken provides a double lock on patient treatment.

Pressure Ulcers

There are a wide range of reasons why an inpatient’s mobility may be compromised, from broken bones to induced comas. The dangers of immobility for patients are surprisingly profound and it’s easy for medical staff to overlook mobility as a priority in a patient’s treatment. Pressure ulcers are a common occurrence when immobility is combined with poor nutrition, and the development of ulcers dramatically increases the chance of contracting further infection.

A patient mobility programme should be set in place ensuring that immobile patients are regularly turned, relieving pressure from any one spot. On top of this practice nurses should be trained to assess for the developing stages of ulcers and be empowered to intervene where necessary.

Data Management Failures

Properly implemented data management systems can lead to improved health outcomes in healthcare facilities. The amount of data generated in such facilities can lead to insights resulting in improved rates of recovery, if data analytics are properly applied. Problematic data management systems are a common mistake that can severely compromise patient safety in healthcare facilities.

Data management issues can stem from a lack of analytic insight to more mundane problems of data entry. The misprocessing of patient data can lead to clinicians lacking the necessary information to provide proper treatment. Data entry in healthcare facilities is a vital component of care and it’s important for healthcare facilities to build administrative systems which are intuitive and enable their staff to collect and store data appropriately.

Checking Out

Healthcare facilities face diverse challenges when providing patient care and staff errors can be costly both in terms of patient outcomes and the bottom line. Eliminating these staff errors as much as possible will enable healthcare facilities to be profitable and safe for patients.


Katherine Rundell is a medical writer at Essay Writing Services and Academized.com. She has been published in the Lancet and BMJ, and is interested in how healthcare is provided in a changing landscape. She is also a proofreader at State Of Writing.

 

Malpractice

67% Believe COVID-19 Will Increase Malpractice Claims

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the economy and businesses. A recent McKinsey & Company survey of 200 organizations across industries found that “more than 90 percent of executives said they expect the fallout from COVID-19 to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next five years, with almost as many asserting that the crisis will have a lasting impact on their customers’ needs.“

To better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact liability and malpractice claims, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety conducted an online survey from October 8-15, 2020 with its followers.  

To read our full survey report, please click on the link below:

Malpractice, Patient Safety, Physician-Patient Relationship

Informed Consent: An Essential Element of a Good Physician-Patient Relationship

Editor’s note: In this guest opinion article, Dr. Sina Haeri discusses why obtaining informed consent is an essential element for a good physician-patient relationship.

By Sina Haeri, MD, MHSA (Chief Medical Officer, Confirmed Consent)

When speaking to clinicians, odds are that obtaining an informed consent as part of their daily practice is not a top-of-mind item, and in many cases, it’s viewed as a nuisance due to the redundant nature of the task. In fact, that redundancy in itself leads to complacency, where many pass the task to their staff including a nurse or a medical assistant. Furthermore, given that the time spent counseling the patient is baked into the procedure reimbursement, some providers view this redundant task as one that keeps them from generating revenue. Further compounding the issue is that with decreasing reimbursements clinicians are supposed to see more patients in less time, which again acts as a dissatisfier for the process.

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Malpractice, Patient Safety, Respiratory Compromise

New Survey Finds Lung Function Testing Has Decreased During COVID-19

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory illnesses are more at risk of getting COVID-19.  Lung function tests, such as spirometry and plethysmography, are often used to determine how well the lungs are working. These tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. Information from these tests is helpful to clinicians to diagnose and determine the appropriate treatment for patients suffering from lung disorders.

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Blood Clots, Malpractice

A Misdiagnosis of Blood Clots Can Be Costly – Particularly During COVID-19

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

In the early months of the COVID-19 epidemic, abnormal clotting was found in COVID-19 patients. As Bin Cao, MD, who is with the National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Diseases in Beijing, described wide-spread clots in COVID-19 patients in a March 19, 2020 webinar cosponsored by the Chinese Cardiovascular Association and the American College of Cardiology – he found “clots in the small vessels of all organs, not only the lungs but also including the heart, the liver, and the kidney.” 

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Malpractice

Who is Legally Liable for COVID-19?

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Who is Legally Liable for COVID-19?

Here’s my question to you – “Who is Legally Liable for COVID-19?”

Some say China is liable – according to a Pew Research Center survey, more than 3 out of 4 Americans (78%) “place a great deal or fair amount of the blame for the global spread of the coronavirus on the Chinese government’s initial handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.”

And, while some may debate whether a nation like China or any other country can be held legally liable, the difficulty of overcoming sovereign immunity makes such considerations a rather pointless mind exercise – or, as is often said in law school, a moot point.

Rather, I ask this question at a far more micro level – is the nurse, doctor, or even the emergency responder liable to a patient who contracts, has an adverse event, or dies from COVID-19 when undergoing their care and treatment?

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Malpractice, Opioid Safety, Patient Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Was the Death of Erik Nelson Preventable?

By Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

According to the Bozeman Daily Chroncle’s article, “Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Bozeman surgeon,” Erik Nelson underwent surgery to correct his chronic nasal obstruction and severe obstructive sleep apnea. Discharged the day after surgery, Mr, Nelson was sent home with a prescription of Oxycodone to manage his pain. Oxycodone is a semisynthetic opioid, which is prescribed for moderate to severe pain.

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