Risk Management Tools & Resources

 

Social Media and Patient Confidentiality: A Balancing Act

One of the most significant concerns related to the use of social media in healthcare is the requirement to maintain strict confidentiality of patients' protected health information (PHI). This obligation is addressed in federal law and governed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

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Environmental Emergency Risk Assessment for Healthcare Practices

History has shown that natural disasters and other environmental crises can occur with limited warning and may necessitate a rapid emergency response. In the United States alone, 79 disasters were declared in 2015.

Although information about emergency preparedness and response in healthcare often focuses on hospitals, the ability to respond quickly and efficiently also is vital for healthcare practices.

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Essential Risk Management Strategies in General Surgery
  • Ensure that general surgeons' privileges are based on training, credentials, and competency.
  • Enhance technical surgical skills through ongoing performance improvement efforts, such as mentoring, proctoring, and continuing education.
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CASE STUDY: Improper Performance of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

A patient with right upper quadrant pain and gallstones consented to laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The informed consent documentation did not specifically include the risk of biliary injury.

In an attempt to avoid biliary structures, the surgeon initiated a dome dissection but converted to a base dissection upon visualizing inflammation and extensive adhesions at the surgical site.

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Risk Management Fundamentals of Documentation

Documentation in the medical record fulfills many purposes. It records and 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 during an audit or legal action.

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Patient Confidentiality as a Key Component of Corporate Compliance

Healthcare providers and staff have an ethical and legal responsibility to protect patient confidentiality by preventing unauthorized disclosure of patient-identifiable health information.

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Record Retention Basics for Healthcare Practices

Healthcare practices generate and maintain many different types of records, including patient health records and business records. These records help practices maintain critical information and deliver quality services and care.

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Is Your Healthcare Organization Walking the Line When It Comes to Corporate Compliance?

In healthcare, corporate compliance refers to an organization's commitment to (a) detect and prevent violations of state and federal laws, (b) establish expectations for ethical business practices, and (c) set appropriate standards for patient services and care. In a nutshell, corporate compliance is a commitment to do the right thing, both legally and ethically.

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