Risk Management Tools & Resources

 

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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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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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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CASE STUDY: Failure to Evaluate Medical History Prior to Prescribing Results in Anaphylactic Reaction

In this case, a primary care provider prescribed an antibiotic to a patient without reviewing the patient's chart to confirm any existing allergies. The chart contained documentation of an allergy to a certain class of antibiotics.

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Family Medicine: Addressing Clinical System Risk Factors

Clinical systems failures, a contributing factor in family medicine claims, involve breakdowns in office systems and procedures, namely tracking and follow-up systems. Technical issues — such as problems with system interfaces, user errors, software or hardware glitches, and technology failures — also can play a role in clinical system failures.

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CASE STUDY: Physician Fails to Investigate Abnormal Lab Value; Patient Dies From Gastric Carcinoma

Modern medicine offers healthcare providers an impressive cadre of diagnostic tools and techniques, including a multitude of different laboratory tests. When lab studies produce abnormal results, investigating the etiology to determine an appropriate explanation is essential. This case illustrates what can happen when a healthcare provider abandons an investigation before a satisfactory explanation is established.

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CASE STUDY: Failure to Monitor Patient for Obstructive Sleep Apnea; Physician Implicated in Death Following Surgery

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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