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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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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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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