Risk Management Tools & Resources

 

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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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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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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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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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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