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May 1, 2012

View Archives Issues

  • 'Scheduling' an Appointment in the ED: Is it Allowable Under EMTALA?

    Waiting time has always been the number one complaint against hospital emergency departments (EDs). In an attempt to address the waiting issue, hospitals recently began allowing patients with nonemergency conditions to "schedule" their ED visits through the Internet and then wait at home until their "projected treatment time" in the ED.
  • Suits for Missed Sepsis in EDs Are on the Rise

    If an emergency department (ED) patient with impending sepsis is discharged, returns hours later in septic shock, and dies or develops organ failure, "you're likely to get sued," warns Bruce Wapen, MD, an emergency physician with Mills-Peninsula Emergency Medical Associates in Burlingame, CA.
  • Missed Sepsis: ED Nurses Are

    The ED nurse is the "first line of defense" against a malpractice lawsuit alleging missed or delayed diagnosis of sepsis, according to Paula Mayer, RN, LNC, a partner at Mayer Legal Nurse Consulting in Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • Ensure Patients Are Placed Back on Monitor

    Even if continuous cardiac monitoring is ordered, ED patients may be taken off the monitor for transport or to go to the restroom and kept off the monitor due to oversight, warns Andrew Garlisi, MD, MPH, MBA, VAQSF, medical director for Geauga County EMS in Chardon, OH.
  • Delayed Transfer for MI? ED's Legal Risks Are Many

    Emergency medical services (EMS) crews are all on assignments, it's rush hour, the cardiologist hasn't called back, or the transfer center is waiting for approval before assigning a bed. These are all valid reasons for delays in transfer of a patient with an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), says Kevin Brown, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAAEM, principal with Brown Consulting Services in Armonk, NY, and former director of the department of emergency medicine at Greenwich (CT) Hospital, but if any of these delays occur, times should be documented by the emergency physician (EP).