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July 1, 2009

View Archives Issues

  • Flu scare shows strengths and weaknesses from providers

    The nation's most recent scare with the H1N1 flu virus showed both the good and the bad of health care providers' preparations for a serious pandemic, and the assessments are largely positive.
  • Most home care providers ready for flu pandemic

    Be sure to include home care services in any pandemic response plans. Fortunately, more than half (53%) of the nation's home medical equipment and service providers have formal plans to respond to a pandemic flu, and another 23% have stockpiled N95 masks or other supplies related to a flu pandemic, according to a survey of 1,500 providers conducted at the beginning of the most recent flu scare.
  • Reporting test results requires vigilance

    The reporting of critical test results and lab values is the kind of process that makes a risk manager nervous if you think about it too much. How do you really know if your organization is reporting test results promptly, efficiently, and effectively, every single time?
  • Unread X-ray prompts $2.19 million verdict

    Illustrating the potential liability when a test result falls through the cracks, a Philadelphia jury recently awarded a widow $2.19 million in a malpractice suit against St. Joseph's Hospital and two ED physicians.
  • Electronic credentialing may offer providers benefits

    Every risk manager wants to believe that the credentialing process has properly vetted all the organization's health care professionals to ensure that they are qualified and have no known criminal record. But that is not always the case. Too often, risk managers get a phone call alerting them that one of their staff or physicians has a problem that did not show up in the credentialing process.
  • Wrong-site surgery prompts hospital review

    After an instance of wrong-site surgery that still defies explanation, officials at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence agreed to conduct an extensive examination of safety procedures in the surgery department.
  • Night-vision goggles endorsed by air group

    Testifying before a crowded hearing in Washington, DC, on the oversight of helicopter medical services, the head of a leading air ambulance organization recently promised lawmakers that the dismal safety record of the industry can be improved.
  • New HHS secretary calls for action on HAIs

    Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are clearly on the radar of Kathleen Sebelius, the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She recently called for action to prevent HAIs in praising two new HHS reports on the quality of health care in America.
  • Legal Review & Commentary: Woman alleges negligence: $4.3 million settlement

    News: A woman presented at a hospital emergency department (ED) with abdominal pain. X-rays and a CT scan were performed. The emergency physician discussed the findings with a radiologist who noted the findings in his report. The emergency physician noted the CT as negative and ordered the woman to take morphine and fentanyl. Twelve hours later, the woman was seen by a different physician, who reviewed the previous record but did not mention the X-rays or the CT scan.
  • Legal Review & Commentary: Malfunctioning defibrillator results in $5.3M award

    News: A woman suffered cardiac arrest while at home. Hospital paramedics arrived, but attempts to resuscitate her with a Lifepak 11 monitor and defibrillator failed. Forty minutes later, the woman was pronounced dead. The decedent's estate sued the hospital and was awarded $5.3 million in damages.