Risk Management Tools & Resources

 


Infection Prevention and Control Strategies for Managing Reusable Medical/Dental Instruments and Devices in Ambulatory Care Settings

Ambulatory healthcare facilities — such as clinics, surgery centers, medical offices, and dental offices — must make concerted efforts to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases and outbreaks. As more patient care services have shifted from inpatient to outpatient settings, the importance of infection prevention and control (IPC) has become more pronounced — and, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns about IPC have reached new heights.

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Through the Looking Glass: Strategies for Managing Patients Who Have Red Flags for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Laura M. Cascella, MA, CPHRM

Healthcare providers who offer cosmetic and aesthetic services often take satisfaction in knowing that they are helping patients address physical issues that might impede their body image, emotional well-being, and psychosocial functioning. Surgeries or procedures that correct or improve these issues can ultimately enhance patients' quality of life and address lingering insecurities. Yet, for some patients, seeking out cosmetic and aesthetic services is symptomatic of a more complex issue, which ultimately can lead to negative consequences for both the patient and the healthcare provider.

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Wrongful Birth/Wrongful Life Allegations: Overview and Risk Mitigation Strategies

Overview

MedPro Group (MedPro) has noted an uptick in malpractice cases related to wrongful birth and wrongful life. Although these types of cases are still uncommon, when they do occur, settlements or judgments can be in the millions of dollars.

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15 Ways Hospitals Can Improve Environmental Safety and Reduce Falls

Patient falls continue to represent a vexing and persistent problem for hospitals. A collaborative publication from The Joint Commission, the Health Research and Educational Trust, and the American Hospital Association notes that "Despite long-term and widespread attention to fall prevention, patients continue to fall, and many of these falls result in injury."1

Although falls occur in all types of healthcare settings, they are particularly concerning in inpatient settings.

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When Patient Phobias Turn Into Medical Emergencies

Patient anxiety or fear related to medical or dental treatment can be problematic and concerning in various ways. These fears may manifest as nonadherence to treatment protocols or appointments schedules, behavioral issues, or — in extreme cases — medical emergencies. The case studies below offer two examples of how patient anxiety and fear contributed to medical emergencies.

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CASE STUDY: Failure to Identify Sepsis and Initiate Treatment Leads to Patient Death

The patient in this case was a 49-year-old female who had a significant medical history, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Her surgical history included placement of two coronary stents and vascular surgery on her left leg.

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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 each organization maintain critical information and deliver quality services and care.

To protect records, healthcare practices should develop and implement formal record retention policies and procedures. Doing so will help establish a systematic and organized approach to record management. Further, formal policies and procedures may help defend against allegations of spoliation — i.e., that records were deliberately or maliciously destroyed.

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Avoiding Social Media Blunders With Proactive Risk Management Policies

Without doubt, social media's ease, flexibility, and convenience offer various opportunities to enhance the dissemination of health information and communication between patients and healthcare providers. Like any type of technology, though, social media can create safety and risk issues if it is not used responsibly. Further, because social media changes rapidly, standards and best practices are not always well-defined.

Consider the following three case examples that illustrate how communicating with patients, or about patients, on social media can be problematic.

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