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June 1, 2009

View Archives Issues

  • EMRs might reduce malpractice liability, but effects not certain

    Wider adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) has been a goal in health care for years, and progress is expected now that President Obama's economic stimulus plan includes $19 billion to help medical care facilities switch to electronic records. Risk managers have long thought, or at least hoped, that EMRs would result in fewer medical errors and malpractice lawsuits. The country may find out soon if that is true.
  • Harvard research suggests EMRs reduce risk

    Recent research from Harvard University suggests that the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) could have a positive effect on reducing malpractice liability.
  • Paper record system has its own benefits

    The Harvard study suggesting lower malpractice risk from using electronic medical records (EMRs) must be viewed with some skepticism, says Peter Hoffman, JD, an attorney with Eckert Seamans in Philadelphia.
  • Many negatives may come with using EMRs

    The potential benefits of electronic medical records (EMRs) are easier to spot than the possible drawbacks, according to some risk managers. Consider both the pros and cons of EMRs before adopting the technology, they say.
  • HIPAA compliance becoming even harder

    With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) expanding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's (HIPAA) patient health information privacy and security protections beyond what most already considered a compliance nightmare, some legal and privacy experts are saying the expansion may have taken compliance from merely difficult to nearly impossible to achieve.
  • Guest Column: New laws clamp down access to medical records

    Patient privacy rights is hardly a new issue, but it became an especially hot topic in 2008, as reports of unauthorized access to the confidential medical records of celebrities brought to light health care security shortfalls at several medical centers and hospitals.
  • Air ambulance report cites many dangers

    Patients and air ambulance crews are dying at an alarming rate because the air ambulance helicopter industry has little oversight and poor organization, according to a recent safety review.
  • Most hospitals not meeting safety goals, Leapfrog says

    Most hospitals still have not implemented standards proven to improve quality and save lives, even though it has been 10 years since the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) landmark report on the failure of U.S. hospitals to adequately protect patient safety. That is the conclusion of the 2008 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which shows that only 7% of hospitals fully meet Leapfrog medication error prevention standards, and low percentages of hospitals are fully meeting mortality standards.
  • Failure to diagnose hyponatremia leads to coma, death: $8.5 M settlement

    A woman who suffered from long-standing depression presented to the hospital seeking an adjustment of her antidepressant medication. During hospitalization, she suffered seizures. The hospital was unable to determine the etiology of the seizures and transferred the woman to another hospital in the area. Upon transfer, she underwent an examination and laboratory testing.
  • Plaintiff falls, breaks hip: Defense verdict returned

    A man slipped and fell while getting out of his hospital bed, causing him to suffer a fractured hip and leg. The man and his wife sued the hospital for negligence, claiming that he had not been fitted with "gripper socks" and that nurses had not responded after the man had attempted to call them with the call light.