October 1, 2019
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EP Failed to Obtain Consult? ED Malpractice Claims Can Include This Allegation
It turns out that a significant number of ED claims involve this scenario — about one in five, according to an analysis of closed malpractice claims. These are some relevant case examples.
Analysis Reveals Slight Decrease in Frequency of ED Claims
ED malpractice claims decreased slightly in frequency over a 10-year period, comprising 8% of total claims, according to the authors of a recent analysis. What follows is a closer look at issues that arise often in these claims.
ED’s Claim of Unusually Large Patient Volume Could Backfire on Defense
Defense claims that unusually high volumes led to delayed care can result in expanded discovery, including census reports. If admissible, the plaintiff can use staffing data to demonstrate a pervasive pattern of understaffing, among other possibly damaging accusations.
Texts Can Hurt Defendant EP, Even if Messages Were Sent Off Shift
If a bad outcome happens during a shift, a plaintiff attorney can obtain phone records. This attorney may accuse a healthcare worker of talking on the phone to his or her lawyer instead of seeing patients.
Liability for Hospitals if Security Removes Disruptive Person from Waiting Room
The safest approach is to presume that anyone in the ED waiting area is presenting for evaluation and medical care, unless they indicate otherwise.
Many ED Charts Lack Explanation of EP’s Thought Process
Many ED malpractice claims would be defensible except for one problem: There is nothing in the chart to explain what the EP was thinking at the time of the ED visit.