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Healthcare Risk Management – November 1, 2021

November 1, 2021

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  • Post-COVID Could Bring Surge in Med Mal Cases

    The COVID-19 pandemic still has many hospitals and healthcare facilities straining to maintain anything like normal operations. But that pressure will eventually ease, and more patients will return for routine care and elective surgeries. Some risk managers and healthcare leaders worry this will prompt an increase in medical malpractice cases.
  • Surveillance Video Can Make or Break Med Mal Defense

    Video surveillance data can be either helpful or harmful in defending a malpractice claim. Healthcare organizations should strictly adhere to their policies on the preservation of video.
  • Spoliation Instruction Is Major Risk to Avoid

    When dealing with video that might be used in a malpractice or premises liability case, the risk of spoliation arises when the owner of the evidence knows it could be relevant to the case and destroys it anyway. When that happens, the court may order the jury to assume that whatever was on the video was damaging to the party that destroyed it.
  • Medical Simulators Can Prevent Med Mal Claims

    Using medical simulators for obstetrics training can lower the incidence of medical malpractice claims, according to recent research from CRICO/Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Center for Medical Simulation. OB/GYNs who participated in medical simulation training experienced fewer claims in the retrospective analysis. The researchers compared malpractice claim rates for 292 OB/GYNs who were insured by the same company and attended at least one simulation training session over 17 years.
  • Hospital Successfully Addresses Medication List Errors in ED

    Many patients’ medication lists contain errors when they are admitted through the ED. South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth, MA, addressed the problem by changing its electronic health record software and more directly involving pharmacy staff. The hospital improved patient safety by recognizing more errors on the lists.
  • Misdiagnosis of Infection Leads to Injuries and $500,000 Award

    This case presents interesting lessons in both substance of medical malpractice cases and in procedures for resolving allegations of medical malpractice. On the substance, the primary issues in this case revolved around the delayed diagnosis: whether the delay fell below the applicable standard of care, and whether the delay directly caused the patient’s injuries. A patient alleging medical malpractice has the burden of demonstrating both of these elements, among others.
  • Severe Brain Injuries Caused by Postnatal Negligence Results in $35 Million Verdict

    One of the major takeaways from this case relates to the substantial adverse verdict imposed by the jury here: Nearly $35 million dollars, primarily allocated to the lifetime of anticipated medical expenses. Past and future expenses are a critical component that medical malpractice patients seek to recover. When the patient is an injured child, a lifetime of injuries can cascade into massive damages through projections and estimates of permanent or extensive medical care.