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March 1, 2012

View Archives Issues

  • Patient info on Facebook traced to temp staff, raises questions

    One hospital's experience with a temporary employee who posted a patient's information on online making fun of her condition and showing no remorse when challenged is raising questions about how hospitals can ensure temporary staffing agencies provide adequate compliance training.
  • Hospital requires agencies to comply

    The risk manager at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles declined to be interviewed about the incident in which a temporary employee posted patient information on Facebook, but the parent company, Providence Health & Services, provided this statement:
  • Activity monitoring can spot privacy breaches

    With growing attention to the threat of privacy breaches through social media, some healthcare organizations are utilizing "user activity monitoring" to help ensure compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • New guidance from ECRI on social media, healthcare

    Driven by concerns about the many risks social media poses, the healthcare industry has been slower than others in adopting social media. However, the rate of adoption has increased in the past two to three years. As of October 2011, more than 1,000 hospitals have recognized the benefits in improved community outreach and are actively using social networking tools, according to ECRI Institute, an independent nonprofit in Plymouth Meeting, PA, that researches approaches to improving patient care.
  • HIPAA breaches up 32%, half from missing devices

    Data breaches in healthcare organizations are on the rise, according to the Second Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security released recently by The Ponemon Institute in Traverse City, MI.
  • Impact of data breach averages $2.2 million

    These are some key findings from the Second Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security released recently by The Ponemon Institute in Traverse City, MI.:
  • Video made in-house to educate staff on falls

    Finding a new way to educate employees about fall prevention is a big challenge because, though the topic is important, it can be hard to keep people's attention. One hospital found that an educational video starring its own employees and presented with a bit of humor effectively delivers the necessary information.
  • Hospital identifies topics for falls video

    While planning its in-house education video on fall prevention, project members at Long Beach (CA) Memorial Medical Center, developed a list of topics to include and criteria for effective training.
  • Humor helps get the message across

    No one wants to sit through another boring education video, so Long Beach (CA) Memorial Medical Center decided to lighten things up with their fall prevention video.
  • 'Distracted doctoring' recognized as hazard

    All manner of electronic devices are common in any healthcare setting, and individuals increasingly are likely to use their own smart phones, tablets, and other personal electronics while at work. The proliferation of electronics is leading some patient safety experts to worry that patient safety might be threatened by "distracted doctoring."
  • Heart surgeons use cell phones in surgery

    Research from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, documents that heart bypass technicians admit to using their cell phones during surgery, but they also contend that the practice is unsafe.
  • Most hospital errors unreported, HHS says

    Hospital incident reporting systems captured only an estimated 14% of the patient harm events experienced by Medicare beneficiaries, according to a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • Hospitals rely on reporting systems

    Administrators from all hospitals with reported events indicated that they rely on incident reporting systems to capture a large portion of the information about events that they use to conduct patient safety improvement activities, but they are not capturing most errors, according to a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • Claims frequency, severity on the rise

    Claims frequency has been rising slightly, which contrasts to the past few years in which claims frequency had declined or stabilized, according to the sixth annual benchmarking report on professional liability claims trends in the hospital industry from Zurich, a property and casualty insurance provider based in Schaumberg, IL.
  • Legal Review & Commentary: Hospital found to be negligent in rape of female inpatient, $150,000 award given

    In 2006, a patient was admitted to a local hospital after she attempted to commit suicide. Shortly after her admission, the patient and her roommate began to socialize with a male patient who was also admitted to their unit. The male patient entered the woman's room in the middle of the night and raped her. The woman sued the hospital for negligence, and a jury found the hospital negligent through its nurse staff and mental health workers. The jury awarded the female patient $150,000 in damages.
  • Legal Review & Commentary: Severe preeclampsia causes massive stroke

    A patient with a history of pregnancy-induced preeclampsia was admitted to the hospital for the delivery of her fourth child. After delivering her child via caesarean section, her physician ordered close monitoring of bleeding, blood pressure, and heart rate. Despite a falling heart rate, rising pulse, and lack of urine output, all classic signs of blood loss shock, a physician was not contacted for several hours.