Risk Management Tools & Resources


Managing and Learning From Medication Mishaps: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Your Healthcare Practice


Laura M. Cascella, MA, CPHRM

Working to minimize medication errors and adverse drug events (ADEs) is a worthwhile goal for healthcare practices. Eliminating all errors and ADEs, however, is unlikely due to the fast-paced nature of the healthcare environment, the numerous demands providers face, and the staggering number of medications on the market.

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Case Study: Communication Failures Following Routine Surgery Lead to Death of Pediatric Patient With Obstructive Sleep Apnea


Theodore Passineau, JD, HRM, RPLU, CPHRM, FASHRM

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an insidious condition that can result in significant healthcare-acquired injuries if it is not properly recognized and treated. This case illustrates what can happen when a patient’s treating physicians do not address and adequately communicate information about OSA to other members of the healthcare team — in this case, the surgery recovery staff.

Case Details

The patient was a 4-year-old male who presented to an outpatient surgery center for a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. He had a history of OSA and enlarged tonsils, and he was mildly obese; however, the patient was otherwise healthy.

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Changes Are Coming to the HIPAA Privacy Rule: Are You Prepared?


Laura M. Cascella, MA, CPHRM

With a turn of the calendar year, 2022 will likely usher in the most significant changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule in almost a decade. These changes will come on the heels of several years of information-gathering, proposals, and public comments, which kicked off December 2018 when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights issued a request for information on HIPAA rules. HHS subsequently released and published the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in December 2020 and January 2021, respectively. A public comment period on the NPRM followed, which concluded May 6, 2021.1

The proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule are targeted at helping fulfill HHS’ Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care by breaking down barriers to care coordination, information sharing, and interoperability (in alignment with the 21st Cures Act and the HITECH Act); supporting value-based care; enhancing patient engagement and right of access; and reducing unnecessary administrative and regulatory burdens.2

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Ensuring HIPAA Compliance in Text Messaging


Marcy A. Metzgar

Many healthcare providers and staff members find that text messaging provides quick access to the information they need to make healthcare decisions and is a convenient method for communicating with other providers and patients. Yet, healthcare providers and staff members need to be cognizant of HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules when using text messaging to avoid violating them.

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Tackling Medication Prescribing, Administration, and Management/Monitoring Errors in Hospitals


Laura M. Cascella, MA, CPHRM

Medication treatment is a complex process, particularly because of the number of steps and individuals involved, the volume of medication orders in hospitals, and the increasing number of prescription medications on the market. Although errors are common throughout the medication process, the prescribing, administration, and management/monitoring stages are particularly risky in hospitals.1

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Post-COVID Conditions: Key Information for Healthcare Providers

An unfortunate byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic is the emergence of post-COVID conditions, which also are referred to as chronic COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID syndrome, and other terms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines these conditions as a range of new, recurring, or persistent symptoms that people have 4 or more weeks following infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.1

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Strategies for Reducing Polypharmacy in Senior Care

Polypharmacy is a serious concern among adults, and especially among seniors. Although polypharmacy is preventable, it is a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality.1 Polypharmacy is generally defined as taking multiple medications or more medications than are medically necessary (including over-the-counter drugs and supplements).

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15 Ways Healthcare Organizations Can Build a Strong Security Culture

In healthcare, the term "safety culture" or "culture of safety" is familiar. It refers to organizational values, attitudes, and goals related to providing a safe environment and safe patient care. Although perhaps not as common, the term "security culture" is conceptually very similar to safety culture. An organization's security culture focuses on beliefs, values, and behaviors related to protecting health information, other sensitive data, and patient and employee privacy.

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