Risk Management Tools & Resources

 

Put It in Writing: An Overview of Pain Management Contracts

Put It in Writing: An Overview of Pain Management Contracts

Healthcare providers who have patients that require pain medications as part of their treatment regimens might want to consider pain management contracts as a technique to improve patient adherence and address problematic patient behaviors. Part of practitioners' role in patient care includes setting standards and expectations for effective relationships. Pain management contracts are a tool that helps facilitate this process.

Pain contracts should be specific and directly related to the patient's pain management plan/program. Providers also might want to incorporate specific statements about behaviors to avoid. Below are examples of behavioral expectations that might be included in a pain contract.

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Opioid Prescribing: Navigating Through a Crisis

In recent years, opioids have become a hot button issue in healthcare. The use of these powerful analgesics has risen dramatically over the past 15 years, and misuse has led to an epidemic of opioid overdoses and a national heroin crisis.

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Healthcare's Second Victims: A Problem That Should Not Be Ignored

In any discussion of managing unanticipated outcomes in healthcare, including medical errors, the immediate concern is supporting patients who are affected by these incidents. Patients are considered the "first victims" of unanticipated outcomes, and healthcare organizations and providers have a duty to provide them with truthful information, follow-up care, and emotional support.

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Documenting Unanticipated Outcomes: An Essential Part of the Disclosure Process

Documentation is a critical aspect of healthcare delivery because it memorializes patient care, facilitates communication among caregivers, forms the basis for coding and billing, provides data pertinent to quality improvement, and may provide information that is critical to the defense of a legal action.

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Risk Strategies for Disclosing an Unanticipated Outcome

Disclosing an unanticipated outcome to a patient/family can be daunting and stressful. Healthcare providers may worry about the possibility of litigation, damage to their reputations, workplace consequences, or even just upsetting patients/families.

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The Patient Safety and Financial Implications of Disruptive Behavior

Disruptive behavior among healthcare providers and staff is widespread in healthcare settings, from large health systems to small healthcare practices. In a survey of more than 800 physicians and physician leaders, more than 70 percent of participants said that disruptive physician behavior occurs at least once a month at their organizations, and more than 10 percent of participants said that such incidents occur on a daily basis.

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Red Flags for Disruptive Behavior in Healthcare Professionals

Sadly, disruptive behavior among healthcare professionals and staff is not uncommon, and it represents a serious patient safety concern. According to the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the majority of healthcare professionals have encountered colleagues engaging in disruptive behaviors with coworkers, patients, relatives, and others.

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Nonverbal Communication as an Essential Element of Patient-Centered Care

Effective verbal communication is the bedrock of quality, patient-centered care. Healthcare providers and staff undoubtedly are aware of the continued emphasis and importance placed on verbal communication through various quality measures and standards. However, good nonverbal communication — facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice — also is essential.

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