This month's case examines what could happen when a clinician diagnoses and prescribes based on complaints being relayed to her, without seeing, or even directly speaking to, the patient.
Dr. K felt sorrow at the passing of his patient, Mr. P, and especially about the terrible circumstances that led up to it. However, it never occurred to him that he might be involved in any way. So, when he received papers notifying him that he was being sued by the family of the young boy who had been killed by Mr. P's car, he was stunned.
During his orientation at the clinic, Dr. P was told that clinicians should try to limit patient interactions to 10 minutes as they would be rated by how many patients they treated, and there was a minimum.
The two physicians worked together for a little over a year, until one of Dr. B's patients came to Dr. G with a problem.
This case is particularly important (and unusual) because it illustrates two points: 1) a person can get jail time for a HIPAA violation (even a misdemeanor violation), and 2) ignorance of the law does not protect you.
Does a physician who has a collaborative practice agreement with a nurse practitioner owe a duty of care to the NP's patients? And can the physician be held liable if something happens to one of the NP's patients?
Despite the fact that the tests run at the hospital came back negative, concern had been expressed by the hospitalist.
Other than the very first appointment when Ms. C informed the physician that she was asplenic, and he noted it in the file, the two never discussed the patient's lack of a spleen again.
Dr. P was a 60-year old primary care physician with his own solo practice. He'd been in practice for himself for the past two decades, and had no shortage of patients.
The physician explained everything to his defense attorney, including the fact that the patient was noncompliant with his medications and his medical appointments, and that it seemed pointless to prescribe yet another medication that wouldn't be taken.
A case which highlights some of the issues that surround practicing 'defensive medicine'; doctor's protecting themselves from a lawsuit by testing or treating aggressively.
Many cases succeed or fail based on how comprehensive a clinician's notes are. Your notes are your justification for why you decided on a certain diagnosis or treatment, and thus are essential.
Defensive medicine can be defined as "medical care provided to patients solely to reduce the threat of malpractice liability, rather than to further diagnosis or treatment." It can either refer to performing more tests or procedures than medically necessary (positive defensive medicine) or avoiding high-risk procedures or high-risk patients (negative defensive medicine).
Enacted in 1986, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, commonly known as EMTALA, is a Federal law that requires anyone coming to almost any emergency department to be stabilized and treated, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
Had Dr. M simply reviewed the protocol prior to the procedure, this terrible error could have been avoided.
Pain management is a growing problem across the country, often forcing clinicians into the awkward position of trying to determine if a patient is legitimately seeking pain relief or just seeking drugs. This case focuses on a vital issue in making that determination - communication.
There are few things as well known yet as poorly understood as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as "HIPAA." The portion that is most relevant to both practitioners and patients is HIPAA's privacy rule establishing national standards to protect medical records and other personal health information.
Communication is key for many professions, but in the case of the medical profession it is even more crucial. The following case is a good example of how better communication might have resulted in a better outcome for the patient.
In order for a medical malpractice case to succeed, five essential elements must be met. Knowing what these elements are will help you to avoid a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
The physician testified that the patient was belligerent and had punched him. The NP testified that she had explained the necessity of the procedure, describing the chaotic scene that followed.