Risk Management Tools & Resources


Understanding Informed Consent for Pediatric Patients

Informed consent is a pillar of patient engagement and patient-centered care. It helps patients gain a full understanding of the benefits and risks of proposed procedures and treatments, thus allowing them to make informed decisions. But what happens when patients are infants, children, or adolescents?

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Risk Perspectives in Telehealth: Privacy & Security

The rapid expansion of technology in healthcare has significant implications for privacy and security of patients' protected health information (PHI). Confidential or sensitive data that are stored or sent electronically create a host of security issues that healthcare organizations must consider. For example, mobile devices can be easily lost or stolen, unintentional data breaches can occur, and cyberattacks can cripple information technology systems.

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Risk Perspectives in Telehealth: Online Prescribing

An important aspect in the provision of telehealth is abiding by appropriate standards of care and scopes of practice, which are defined by federal and state laws, professional boards, accrediting agencies, specialty associations, payers, and so forth. Prescribing medications to patients as part of telehealth services — online prescribing — falls into the parameters of "standards and scope," and healthcare providers must take precautions to ensure they are prescribing within legal and professional boundaries.

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Risk Perspectives in Telehealth: Credentialing & Privileging

Credentialing and privileging — the processes by which a healthcare organization assesses and confirms the qualifications of a healthcare provider and authorizes the provision of specific services — play an important role in patient safety and high-quality care. These processes are essential for traditional, in-person care as well as for healthcare delivered through telecommunication technology (telehealth).

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Risk Perspectives in Telehealth: Licensing

Technology has created opportunities for physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other healthcare practitioners to extend the reach of their professional practice beyond the physical limitations of geography. Through the use of telehealth technologies, providers can evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients in other localities, which can increase access to, convenience of, and choices in care.

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CASE STUDY: Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Results in Malpractice Liability for Physician Assistant and Supervising Physician

The patient was a 53-year-old male who presented to an internal medicine practice because he had a lump in his right groin. The patient had been going to the practice for years and typically saw one physician assistant (PA) for most appointments. Over the years, he had seen the PA for various conditions, such as allergies, abdominal pain, cardiac issues, respiratory infections, and hypertension, among others.

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Data Insight: Triage Pitfalls in the Emergency Department

Communication issues, particularly among healthcare providers, are not unusual in malpractice cases; in fact, they are noted in approximately one-third of all cases. Various scenarios across care settings illustrate the importance of thorough communication among providers — yet few highlight it as well as cases occurring in the emergency department (ED), where decisions are made quickly and little time is available to correct miscommunication.

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Speaking Up for Patient Safety: Techniques to Support Assertiveness

Speaking up about risks, concerns, and errors in patient care is an essential component of patient safety. Although voicing concerns may seem like a reflexive response for healthcare providers and staff, barriers can prevent it from happening. Fear, intimidation, lack of confidence, power structures, and other factors can thwart individuals' efforts to assert concerns. These issues can permeate healthcare organizations that permit or do not constructively address disruptive behavior, bullying, retaliation, and blame.

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