Risk Management Tools & Resources


Inadequate Preoperative Preparation and Intraoperative Monitoring Lead to Patient Death

The patient, a 50-year-old male who was morbidly obese, presented for surgery that required him to be placed in a "jackknife" position (which is known to be risky for obese patients). The surgeon did not perform a medical or cardiac evaluation on the patient prior to the surgery, nor did he obtain an evaluation from the patient's primary care provider.

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Minimizing Risks Associated With Scope of Practice for Advanced Practice Providers

Fast-paced changes in healthcare and increasing demands on doctors have necessitated the consideration of new frameworks and models for the delivery of care. At the forefront of this shifting paradigm are advanced practice providers (APPs), such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified registered nurse anesthetists, who are helping fill gaps in provider availability and accessibility.

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Managing Patient Requests for Refunds or Waivers

Dentists strive to provide their patients with high-quality, effective care. However, some patients inevitably will not be satisfied with their results, regardless of whether appropriate care was provided. These patients, or their caregivers, might request refunds of the professional fees they paid or waivers of outstanding fees.

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CASE STUDY: Lapses in Clinical Judgment Lead to Poor Patient Outcome and Malpractice Suit

A patient who had undergone radiation therapy for cancer of the soft palate presented to his general dentist for routine care. Because of severe xerostomia, the dentist and patient were unable to control the patient's caries.

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Top 10 Risk Management Strategies for Telehealth/Telemedicine
  1. Be aware of federal and state laws and regulations related to telehealth, such as requirements for licensure, online prescribing, informed consent, clinical decision-making, and quality improvement. Check with your state medical or dental board for specific guidance.
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Plain Language: A Powerful Tool for Improving Health Literacy

Inadequate health literacy is a serious concern in healthcare. Research shows that only a small percentage of adults have proficient health literacy skills, and almost 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using the everyday health information that is routinely available in healthcare facilities.

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10 Strategies for Enhancing Communication With Patients
  1. As much as possible, try to limit interruptions and distractions during the patient encounter.
  2. Allow adequate time for dialogue, and take time to understand the patient's/family's concerns and point of view.
  3. Make an effort to allow patients to fully voice their concerns without interruption.
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CASE STUDY: Inadequate Communication Between Provider and Patient Leads to Misdiagnosis

A doctor on call for his group practice received an after-hours call from a male patient in his sixties. The patient was complaining of weakness and reported that he had started a new blood pressure pill (hydrochlorothiazide) 3 days earlier. He also reported taking lisinopril daily for more than a year.

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