Medical Malpractice: 10 Common Slip-Ups That Can Get You Sued
Yes, mistakes happen, but you can avoid these missteps.
In my experience and in my review of recent malpractice cases, I've seen the same mistakes being made time and again. Here are the top 10 to guard against.
Emergency equipment and rescue drugs aren't always available
When you need those things, you need them right now. Even with minor procedures, patients respond differently, so it's paramount in every situation to be completely prepared for an emergency. Take malignant hyperthermia, for example. Keep dantrolene in or very close to the OR, so that it's available immediately if MH occurs. That means having enough people available to handle any emergency, too. The situation is becoming more critical as the scope of procedures being done in ambulatory facilities is widening. A lot of cases shouldn't be done in outpatient settings, but people are pushing the envelope.
Training, education and staffing are inadequate
Continuous training and educational programs in all areas staff members routinely deal with are critical. Make sure everyone is up to date on all the subspecialties that your facility handles. When the volume of cases gets to the point that there's no time to do in-services, you're asking for trouble.
Inadequate monitoring (malfunctioning, missing)
Facilities that are surgery-driven don't always concern themselves with other equipment, as long as the surgical equipment is up to date. But as facilities take on more difficult cases, more patients with comorbidities, more patients who are older and obese, they're creating a recipe for trouble. If you're not monitoring properly, you're really just winging it. And by the time you figure out something has gone wrong, it can be too late to intervene.
Alarms are muted
This, of course, is a cardinal sin, and everybody knows it. Still, a lot of people who've been practicing a long time don't want to hear alarms. So they mute them, thinking they won't be the ones who are susceptible to human error. But we're all only human. The alarms are a backup to alert you if there's a trend or a change of any kind that might need to be addressed. Sadly, "alarm fatigue" has become so common that it's become a new National Patient Safety Goal initiative. I consider it malpractice to turn off an alarm, and you can be sure risk managers and plaintiffs' lawyers do, too.
medical malpractice, common slip-ups, mistakes... show all keywords
medical malpractice, common slip-ups, mistakes
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