July 1, 2012
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Liability for Ancillary Staff in the Emergency Department: Legal Case Studies of Nurses and Physician AssistantsWhile nurses have always had a presence in the emergency department (ED), the increasing prevalence and utilization of physician assistants (PAs) in EDs across the nation is generating a new and unique liability for emergency physicians (EPs). This article will familiarize the reader with pertinent legal concepts and recent cases that enlighten the issue of liability for ancillary staff in the ED.
Your ED patient has the right to receive a medical screening examination and a thorough evaluation, but he or she does not have a legal right to obtain specific pain medications, according to Knox H. Todd, MD, MPH, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Was a patient with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) placed in your ED's fast track because he was mistakenly thought to have bronchitis?
Is it a matter of public record that your ED scored in the lowest percentile in the state for meeting recommended timeframes for administering antibiotics?