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Healthcare Risk Management – October 1, 2010

October 1, 2010

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  • Facebook, other social sites continue posing risk problems

    Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace continue to be a tricky problem for health care risk managers, who need to ensure that employees do not violate patient privacy even when off duty but also must avoid violating the personal rights of those employees. Failing to address the situation adequately could mean a HIPAA violation or damage to the provider's reputation, but using too heavy a hand could run afoul of labor laws.
  • Nurse fired for off-duty post on Facebook

    Nurse Cheryl James didn't think she was violating any rules when she posted her frustrations on Facebook, saying she had treated a "cop killer" that day.
  • Policy crucial to avoiding web breaches

    Only about a quarter of employers have a policy on employees' use of social networking sites, says Danielle Urban, JD, an attorney with the law firm of Fisher & Phillips in Denver.
  • Use data to prove value of RM to top brass

    Risk managers have always struggled to prove the value of their work to health care administrators, because much of what they do consists of preventing expenditures and minimizing costs. A concerted effort to prove the worth of your department can result in a higher profile for risk management within the organization, greater stature for the risk manager, and improved resources.
  • Think of RM as a profit center, not an expense

    Here's a radical idea: Instead of trying to show management why your department is worthy of respect, go on the offensive and declare that risk management is a profit center every bit as much as that shiny new cardiac center or the plastic surgery clinic.
  • Present data the way C-suite wants it

    When presenting any data to upper management, it is important to present it in the way that it will be best received, says William Besse, CHS-V, executive vice president of Andrews International, a company providing security and risk mitigation services, based in Valencia, CA. Every organization has its own culture, style, and business needs, and executives will expect data to be presented in the way they prefer and that works best within the organization.
  • When do you notify after a HIPAA breach?

    With the recent release of the HITECH rule's language on breach notification, risk managers can be left wondering when they have to notify after a breach of protected health information (PHI) in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Sometimes you should call the local newspaper and inform the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and sometimes you can just keep quiet.
  • Study: $20B in costs from medical errors

    Findings from a new study indicate that measurable medical errors cost the U.S. economy $19.5 billion in 2008.
  • Failure to Turn Woman Blamed for Pressure Sores and Death — $65,000 Illinois Verdict

    A 76-year-old woman is taken to the hospital after collapsing at home. While at the hospital, the woman experiences an allergic reaction to the medications administered, resulting in a rash and blistering. Doctors ordered the woman to be turned every two hours to prevent pressure sores from forming. This course of treatment, however, was allegedly neglected, resulting in septicemia and eventual death.
  • MD allegedly drunk at delivery: $2.5M verdict

    A pregnant woman was admitted to the hospital for the delivery of her child. The on-call physician for her obstetrical group arrived and ruptured the woman's membranes. Following this, the physician allegedly began consuming alcohol. At the time of delivery, the baby suffered a fractured humerus. The physician then performed an episiotomy on the patient. The baby's injury healed, but evidence showed that problems with his growth plate could be the cause of future complications. The mother continues to have sexual dysfunction and pain after urination. The total jury verdict against all defendants was in the amount of $2,535,600.