A three-judge appeals panel in Illinois reinstated claims by a patient with multiple sclerosis for her neurologist’s negligence in treating her disorder. The treatment caused the patient’s permanent disability. The trial court originally rejected the patient’s amended complaint.
This case shows the importance of informed consent in medical negligence cases and defines how strictly a court upholds the standard of care when informing a patient of the asserted risks of a procedure outside the scope of a doctor’s expertise.
The dramatic increase in the use of telemedicine is raising concerns about the potential for malpractice issues related to this form of caregiving, with some experts cautioning a wave of lawsuits could be on the way. Adherence to key principles of patient safety and risk management can reduce the risk.
A hospital’s peer review protection often prevents attorneys from potentially using damaging information in court, but that protection can be forfeited. To protect patient safety investigations, the most important thing is to follow the applicable federal or state peer review statute as strictly as possible.
The Joint Commission recently updated its standards for preventing and addressing violence in the healthcare workplace. OSHA's General Duty Clause requires employers to provide their employees with a place of employment that is “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”
Always a challenging problem, workplace violence in healthcare settings has worsened recently as the many stresses of the pandemic push staff, managers, patients, and family members to the breaking point. Risk managers should review their workplace violence policies to ensure they clearly define workplace violence to include bullying, intimidation, and harassment.
Once a risk manager realizes the organization may have violated laws or regulations, the best course of action might be to report the violation instead of hoping no one will discover it. Self-disclosure can offer many advantages that result in lesser penalties and other consequences. But it is important to know when to report and how to do it advantageously.
Hospitals may enter into recruitment agreements to bring needed physicians into the community. However, serious legal issues can arise related to the Stark Law, which prohibits making referrals involving a compensation arrangement or investment interests.
This case illustrates the importance of risk factors in setting the standard of care for medical screenings and testing. Discussing a patient’s history and background, including the patient’s family medical history, is important for a physician to determine the applicable standard of care.
This case presents an interesting intersection between the facts and the law. Does the legal system compensate a patient who indisputably suffered a significant, permanent injury when an investigation cannot reveal how the injury occurred? This is where the legal doctrine of res ipsa loquitor becomes involved.