Risk Management Tools & Resources

 

Why Must You Be So Difficult?

Difficult patients represent one of the most challenging situations that doctors and other healthcare professionals encounter. Dealing with these patients can be emotionally and mentally draining — as well as increasingly frustrating — for practitioners and their staff members.

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Patients Who Don't Follow Their Treatment Plans: What's a Clinician to Do?

To a certain degree, healthcare providers have the right to choose which patients they want to treat, and a provider may choose to terminate a relationship with a patient who does not comply with treatment regimens or follow-up care recommendations.

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CASE STUDY: Improper Medication Management Leads to Patient Harm and Death

A patient in her late sixties presented to an emergency department (ED) with complaints of right flank pain and shortness of breath. She reported an allergy to Versed®. The initial working diagnosis was kidney stones. Lab work, an abdominal ultrasound, and an abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan were ordered, and the patient was given Demerol®/Phenergan® (50 mg/12.5 mg IV).

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CASE STUDY: Inadequate Patient Assessment and Improper Management of Treatment Lead to Patient Death

A patient in his mid-twenties with a history of asthma presented to an emergency department (ED) after a drug overdose. He was intubated after multiple difficult attempts. After a 48-hour stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) and consults with pulmonology and ENT, the patient was extubated and discharged.

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CASE STUDY: Narrow Diagnostic Focus and Inadequate Communication Lead to Delayed Diagnosis of Stroke

The patient, a women in her mid-forties, developed dizziness and vomiting during exercise. Upon presentation to an emergency department (ED), staff noted that the patient was unable to verbally communicate, but she could follow instructions. An examination revealed bilateral nystagmus, and a urine toxicology screen was positive for opiates.

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CASE STUDY: Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack Leads to Tragic Outcome

A 47-year-old female presented to her local emergency department (ED) on a Saturday evening with complaints of shoulder and back pain, nausea, dizziness, and chest discomfort. Earlier in the day, the patient reported working in her garden and attending a family picnic. An ECG was ordered, and the results were negative. The patient was not referred for further cardiac testing because the emergency physician determined that muscle strain and acid reflux were the cause of the patient's symptoms.

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Using Your EHR System as a Quality Improvement Tool

The concept of quality improvement is discussed frequently among members of the healthcare community. We generally understand that to improve patient outcomes, we must improve performance, or the delivery of care.

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Take a Proactive Approach to Protecting Patients' Electronic Health Information

Privacy and security of patients' protected health information (PHI) have been at the forefront of healthcare for a number of years. Most healthcare professionals are well aware of their obligations to protect PHI under state and federal regulations.

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