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November 1, 2012

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  • Expect ED Delays to Be Issue During Malpractice Litigation

    Whether an emergency physician (EP) has deviated from the accepted standard of care on the basis of timeframe depends on the facts of the individual case, says Robert D. Kreisman, JD, a medical malpractice attorney with Kreisman Law Offices in Chicago.
  • What Can "Empty Chair" Defense Do for Sued EP?

    If the hospital isn't named in a medical malpractice lawsuit, an emergency physician (EP) defendant can sometimes take advantage of the "empty chair" defense strategy, says Joseph P. McMenamin, MD, JD, FCLM, a partner at Richmond, VA-based McGuireWoods LLP and a former practicing EP.
  • A Simple Callback Might Stop Malpractice Suit

    Measuring the number of ED malpractice claims that are avoided by calling patients post-discharge is difficult, acknowledges Jeanie Taylor, RN, BSN, MS, vice president of risk services for Emergency Physicians Insurance Company (Epic) in Roseville, CA. "It is hard to measure what did not occur, so the effectiveness of callback programs from a claims perspective is largely anecdotal," she says.
  • Do You Rely on "Ad Hoc" Interpreters in Your ED?

    In one case involving the death of a 9-year-old girl from a reaction to metoclopramide, misdiagnosed as gastroenteritis, the patient and her 16-year-old brother were called on in the ED to interpret for their Vietnamese-speaking parents.
  • Patient Leaving Without Diagnosis? Avoid Suits By Clarifying Limitations

    The most significant legal risks in the ED are not those associated with boarding patients or high-acuity traumas, but rather, those associated with relatively stable patients with undifferentiated diagnoses, according to an analysis of malpractice cases occurring from 2006 to 2010 from Crico Strategies' Comparative Benchmarking System database.
  • Copy and Paste in ED: "Dangerous Practice"

    An elderly man presented to an emergency department (ED) with new-onset chest pain. In reviewing the patient's electronic medical record (EMR), the emergency physician (EP) noted a history of "PE," but the patient denied ever having a pulmonary embolus.