News Briefs: Bio attacks pose new risk challenges

Treating patients of biological and chemical attacks can pose a different kind of challenge for hospitals from a risk management perspective, Jim Bentley, senior vice president of the Chicago-based American Hospital Association, recently told members of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM).

Speaking at ASHRM’s annual meeting in Boston, Bentley said changes to triage procedures for treating mass casualties from such attacks could create new areas of liability. For example, it might be necessary for health care providers to give treatment priority to the most survivable patients, he said. Hospitals should include risk management in the preparation of disaster preparedness plans.