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Healthcare Risk Management – November 1, 2011

November 1, 2011

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  • Early elective inductions, C-sections get a no from hospitals

    Risk managers and patient safety experts across the country are catching on to a dangerous trend: Too many physicians and patients are agreeing to early induction or Cesarean sections, they say, and it has to stop.
  • Hard stop cuts deliveries before 39 weeks

    Leaders at Summa Akron (OH) City Hospital took a hard look at elective inductions a couple years ago and didn't like what they found.
  • Rate rose dramatically for recent C-sections

    Elective Cesarean sections and inductions have become much more common in the past three decades, notes Roberta Carroll, ARM, CPCU, MBA, CPCU, CPHQ, CPHRM, senior vice president with Aon Risk Solutions, a consulting firm in Odessa, FL. In 1965, the U.S. cesarean rate was measured for the first time and it was 4.5% (4.5 C‐sections per 100 primary deliveries), Carroll says. In 2002, the C‐section rate was 27% and by 2009 it had increased to 34% of single live deliveries. (Some of these C-sections occurred at 39 weeks or later).
  • Effort to block births ups malpractice risk

    The malpractice risk associated with early inductions and C-sections is growing, as a direct result of the effort to curb them, says Roberta Carroll, ARM, CPCU, MBA, CPCU, CPHQ, CPHRM, senior vice president with Aon Risk Solutions, a consulting firm in Odessa, FL. To date there have not been many malpractice cases directly related to early inductions and C-sections, but Carroll says that trend is likely to change.
  • March of Dimes toolkit encourages minimum

    The March of Dimes, based in White Plains, NY, recently began an initiative in New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Illinois to implement a "39-week toolkit" in hospitals to discourage C-sections or inductions before that minimum gestation.
  • Temporary staff can boost liability risk

    Temporary staff members working in a hospital's fast-paced emergency department (ED) are twice as likely as permanent employees to be involved in medication errors that harm patients, according to new research from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. In addition to minimizing the use of temporary staff, the solution, say some experts, is to devote more attention to choosing the temporary staff you do use.
  • ED especially vulnerable to temp risks, doctor says

    The emergency department (ED) is perhaps the worst hospital unit in which to have strangers working together, says Dan Sullivan, MD, FACEP, JD, president and CEO of The Sullivan Group, a risk and safety consulting group in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, and an associate professor of emergency medicine at Cook County Hospital/Rush Medical College in Chicago.
  • Temps, PAs may be cited in malpractice claims

    With the increasing usage of temporary staff and physician assistants (PAs) in the emergency department (ED), it is likely that the healthcare industry will see lawsuits alleging their status was key to alleged malpractice, says Paul C. Kuhnel, JD, an attorney with the law firm of LeClairRyan in Roanoke, VA.
  • ED physician assistants not seen as very risky

    While there is general agreement that temporary staff can threaten patient safety and increase malpractice risks, the question is not quite so clear with nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in the emergency department (ED).
  • FL teenager arrested for playing PA in ED

    Authorities in Kissimmee, FL, report that a teenager has been arrested and accused of impersonating a physician's assistant (PA) in a local hospital's emergency department (ED).
  • The worst IT threats can come from inside

    Imagine the havoc if one day your organization's critical data just ... disappeared.
  • Focus on threats, not just ROI of virtualization

    The vulnerabilities of a virtual infrastructure are real, but they often are overlooked while healthcare leaders focus on the return on investment (ROI), says Eric Chiu, founder & president of HyTrust, a company in Mountain View, CA, that specializes in access control for data.
  • FBI: Disgruntled admin deleted system info

    A Georgia man who allegedly froze the operations of a New Jersey pharmaceutical company where he had worked by deleting portions of its computer network has been federally charged in connection with the attack.
  • Stanford responds to breach of patient data

    A patient of Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Palo Alto, CA, recently alerted the provider to a disturbing find: Detailed medical and billing records for 20,000 of the hospital's patients were posted on a homework help site. Even worse, the records had been posted for nearly an entire year.
  • Will your patients have more access to laboratory results? It's proposed

    As hospital compliance officers prepare for a proposed increase in patient access to medical records' information, another proposed rule increases access to laboratory results.
  • HHS reports complaints and breaches to Congress

    More than 57,000 complaints of Privacy Rule violations were received by the Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) between April 2003 and December 2010. More than 250 large data breaches, defined as those involving the protected health information of more than 500 individuals, occurred in 2009 and 2010.
  • Study says e-mail is source of data leaks

    E-mail practices and mobile e-mail cause the most concern for data protection and regulatory compliance, according to the 830 individuals whose responses were included in a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Zix Corp., an e-mail encryption service.
  • Leon Rodriguez to head up OCR

    Leon Rodriguez, the new leader of the government's HIPAA privacy and security enforcer, last served as chief of staff and deputy assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
  • Timeline widget for HIPAA 5010

    Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, providers must use the new HIPAA 5010 transaction standards to conduct certain administrative transactions such as claims, remittance, eligibility and others, but not all providers are ready for the transition to new standards, and that lack of preparedness could affect transition to ICD-10 as well.
  • Alleged failure to monitor high fall risk leads to brain injury, $500,000 settlement

    News: A 66-year-old man presented to the hospital with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. The man was placed on an IV and put in bed. The patient later attempted to get out of bed, but he fell down and struck his head on the floor. The hospital settled with the man for $500,000.
  • Settlement for alleged failure to diagnose

    News: After returning to North Carolina following a trip, a young man presented at his local hospital feeling ill. The man was seen by a physician, and a chest radiograph was ordered. The physician ordering the test and the radiologist interpreting the test noted different findings, and there was later a disagreement as to whether the two physicians met to discuss the contrary findings.