Malpractice, Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Continuous Monitoring Could Have Saved Lorrie McComb’s Life

$3.2 million in a malpractice suit was awarded against Kennestone Hospital and WellStar Medical Group for the 2012 death Lorrie McComb. Continuous monitoring could have saved her life.

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

“Had Lorrie McComb been monitored with pulse oximetry and capnography, she might be alive today” – this was my first thought when I recently read the article, “Widower gets $3.2 million in hospital suit against WellStar”.

A jury awarded Lorrie McComb’s husband more than $3.2 million in a malpractice suit brought against Kennestone Hospital and WellStar Medical Group for the 2012 death of his wife, Lorrie McComb.

The ruling and the reward of more than $3.2 million should be a reminder to all hospital executives and risk managers of the perils of not following adequate patient monitoring practices.

To read the complete article on TheDoctorWeighsIn, please click here.

 

Hospital Acquired Conditions, Malpractice, Patient Safety

Obstetric Malpractice Shapes The Way Doctors Practice – But It Can Be Prevented

The following is an excerpt of an article on obstetric malpractice co-authored by Angela W. Russell, Partner, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP and Michael Wong, JD, Executive Director of Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS). It first appeared on Healthcare Business Today on July 28, 2017. Read the full article here.

Accidents can happen.

In the case of hospital care, the stakes are high, with errors potentially resulting in serious adverse events or even death. In the field of obstetrics & gynecology, these incidences can have a deeply personal impact, affecting the lives of mother, baby, family, and attending clinicians. It’s not surprising, then, that in the most catastrophic cases, the costs of obstetric malpractice suits can be astronomical. Read More

Hospital Acquired Conditions, Malpractice, Patient Safety

Reducing Obstetric Malpractice Claims Starts With Training, Communication, and Culture

Medical malpractice claims, usually related to death or major injury, represent 69.6% of inpatient claims and 63.7% of outpatient claims. To help reduce medical malpractice, here are 5 key steps to minimizing exposure to medical malpractice litigation and improving patient safety & health outcomes

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

Can “perfect care” exist in the clinical setting? This is one of the questions that was asked at a recent conference that I spoke at with Bruce Pastner, MD, JD (Vice-Chair, Patient Safety & Quality, Inova Fairfax Women’s Hospital).

It’s a utopic vision for patient safety that we all strive for. But the unfortunate reality of healthcare today is that bad outcomes can happen; this is sadly true in practices regarded as higher-risk, such as obstetrics. Not all terrible events leading to death or major injury are predictable, preventable, or even treatable. What clinicians can do, however, is to focus on identifying the most preventable incidents and prepare for them. Read More

Hospital Acquired Conditions, Malpractice, Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Anesthesiology Standards Shouldn’t be Different in Hospital and Outpatient Settings

Written by Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONC-C (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety).

When preventable medical errors occur, one of the very first questions asked by patients, families, the legal system, the press, and the public is: “were appropriate care standards met?”. As a professional Registered Nurse, I look at this question from a quality and patient safety perspective to ask what could have been done differently? What are the best practice medical standards, and why are they not applied across the US health care systems? How applicable should the medical standard of care be? And how do we, as clinicians and patient advocates, define the best practice standard of care?

The reality is that the definition of best practice and standard of care differs between acute care hospital settings and outpatient surgery centers. And, even then, the standard of care being applied by the ambulatory surgical center, anesthesiologist and the gastroenterologist may not be the same. Read More

Malpractice, Opioid Safety

PPAHS to Present at ACI Annual Advanced Forum on Medical Liability, Claims, Coverage, and Risk Management

ACI-medical-liability-conference-headline

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) will be presenting at the American Conference Institute’s 2nd Annual Advanced Forum on Medical Liability, Claims, Coverage, and Risk Management in New York City.  The 2-day conference, running from October 27 to 28, will bring together professionals from government, healthcare, risk management, and legal fields to discuss the latest trends and issues in today’s fast-paced medical liability landscape.

Michael Wong, JD, PPAHS executive director, will convene a panel titled “New Claims Trends Related to the U.S. Pain Crisis: Taking a Look at the Recent Prescription Opioid Abuse Epidemic and Its Impact on a New Wave of Med Mal Insurance Claims”.  He will be joined by Linda Van Dillen, CompAlliance Managed Care; Michael D. Anderson, Sr. Claims Examiner & Risk Specialist Medical Insurance Exchange of California, Medical underwriters of California; and Keri Marmorek, Specialty Lines, Beazley USA.  The panel will occur on day two of the conference, October 28, 2016. Read More

Malpractice, Patient Safety

5 Lessons Learned from the Joan Rivers Death Settlement

By Frank Overdyk, MSEE, MD (Staff Anesthesiologist, Roper St. Francis), Kenneth P. Rothfield, MD, MBA, CPE, CPPS (System Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Saint Vincent’s Healthcare, Ascension Health), Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety), Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONC-C (Clinical Nurse Consultant, PPAHS)

The lawsuit against Yorkville Endoscopy, where Joan Rivers stopped breathing and tragically died, has been settled. In the statement by her daughter, Melissa Rivers said that she is now “able to put the legal aspects of my mother’s death behind me and ensure that those culpable for her death have accepted responsibility for their actions quickly and without equivocation.”

To read the complete article in Outpatient Surgery, please click here.

Malpractice, Opioid Safety, Patient Safety

5 Steps to Minimizing Exposure to Medical Malpractice Litigation

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) today released 5 steps to minimizing exposure to medical malpractice litigation.

“The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is an advocacy group dedicated to improving patient health and safety,” said Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, PPAHS). “Hospitals can minimize their exposure to medical malpractice litigation and improve patient safety, resulting in a win-win for patients and their clinicians.”

Read More

Malpractice, Patient Safety

3 Things You Want to Know About Hospital Medical Malpractice

In a poster presentation at this year’s annual of meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, researchers looked at anesthesia-related physician malpractice claims between 2005 and 2013.

#1 – Medical Malpractice Claims are Decreasing

In reviewing the 2,408 medical malpractice claims, the researchers found that malpractice claims are decreasing – inpatient claims decreased 45.5 percent from 2005 to 2013 (5.1 percent per year) and outpatient claims decreased 24.3 percent during that period (2.7 percent per year).

Read More