ProAssurance's informative newsletters offer a risk management perspective on topics of interest to physicians, hospitals and healthcare facilities, practice administrators, and office staff.
"Medical Risk Resource Advisor" (MRRA) news for physicians is published twice annually.
Barriers to Effective Communication
Edition: Fall 2017
Author: Mallory Earley, JD, Senior Risk Resource Advisor
To ensure an effective physician-patient relationship and provide quality care, you must be able to communicate
with your patients.
Physicians may encounter difficulties in three situations: when a patient is hard of hearing, has limited English proficiency, or is illiterate. Federal law requires physicians to make reasonable accommodations for hard of hearing and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients. If proper accommodations are not afforded to these individuals, serious consequences, including medical professional liability lawsuits, can occur. Here are some risk management strategies which can be applied to reduce miscommunication with hard of hearing, LEP, and illiterate patients.
"Key Considerations" news for healthcare organizations is published twice annually.
Edition: Summer 2018
Author: Tina Reynolds, RN, MBA, JD, Senior Risk Resource Advisor
An active 67-year-old retiree entered the hospital for what he thought would be a routine prostatectomy. The urologist recommended robotic-assisted surgery (RAS),
and the patient and his spouse agreed to proceed. The patient did not know this would be the surgeon’s first independent robotic surgery. The planned five-hour RAS evolved into a 13-hour open surgery. The patient experienced a succession of complications including kidney failure, sepsis, stroke, cognitive deficits, a torn rectum, and blood
loss requiring several transfusions. He experienced permanent incontinence, required
a colostomy, and was debilitated until he succumbed to heart disease four years later.
Experts testified at trial that “confidence” with the device is not achieved until a surgeon has completed 150 to 250 procedures.1 Prior to performing this procedure, the surgeon had participated in only two proctored robotic prostatectomies—before the hospital granted the surgeon the privilege to independently perform RAS.
"Vital Signs" newsletter presents actual case histories of malpractice claims to help physicians recognize some of the common causes of malpractice claims. Confidentially published as a service to ProAssurance insureds, "Vital Signs" is available inside our Secure Services Portal.
"Vital Signs" case studies are specialty-specific, currently including: Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Practice, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics, Orthopedics, Pathology, Pediatrics, Radiology, and Urology.
"Comment" newsletter presents state-by-state and regional medical liability news and issues. Confidentially published as a service to ProAssurance insureds, "Comment" is available inside our Secure Services Portal.