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​Healthcare Perspective


Healthcare Perspective - A Risk Management Resource to Manage Liability in the Healthcare Practice​​

Every healthcare organization, no matter how small or specialized, must be aware of its risk profile and take appropriate measures to ​protect itself against clinical, operational and financial exposures. NSO, along with the program underwriter CNA, are dedicated to educating healthcare business owners regarding their malpractice risks. Healthcare Perspective is a publication designed to provide healthcare business owners with a range of relevant risk management information and strategies for detecting and mitigating your liability exposures.​​

 

Healthcare Perspective, Issue 15​​

Transgender Patients: Toward a More Inclusive Environment of Care

In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights issued regulations extending the prohibition against sex discrimination in the healthcare setting to questions of gender identity and sex stereotyping. In addition to this legal ruling, hospitals and other accredited healthcare organizations are also subject to the Joint Commission’s patient rights mandates banning discrimination based upon gender identity or expression.


This edition of Healthcare Perspective​ is designed to help healthcare businesses protect transgender patients and themselves by understanding regulatory requirements and liability exposures, reviewing current protocols and practices, and moving toward greater inclusiveness and accommodation, including:

  • Sources of Liability
  • Policy and Training Considerations
  • Gender Identification and Documentation
  • Patient Protection and Accommodation

 

Healthcare Perspective, Issue 14​​

Telemedicine: Risk Management Issues, Strategies and Resources

Telemedicine is the practice of electronically connecting geographically discrete healthcare facilities and providers. It encompasses numerous methods and technologies, ranging from traditional store-and-forward data applications, commonly utilized in diagnostic review and interactive exams, to innovative “telepresent” methods, including robotic surgery and emergency services consultations.

This edition of Healthcare Perspective outlines strategies designed to enhance clinical, operational and technical processes associated with the provision of TMH.

In this issue of Healthcare Perspective​​, we examine:

  • Security
  • Patient/Client Confidentiality
  • Quality Improvement
  • Training
  • Informed Consent

Additional Resources

 

Healthcare Perspective, Issue 13​​

Adolescent Patients: Safeguards Protect Rights and Help Minimize Liability

Most healthcare business owners and providers are well-versed in the requirements for consent, privacy and confidentiality in the care of adult patients/clients. However, when caring for minors, many can find themselves in unfamiliar territory with respect to these important patient rights.

This edition of Healthcare Perspectives examines some of the more common issues relative to adolescent care, including parent/guardian consent requirements and exceptions, privacy rights of minors and confidentiality protections when transferring their healthcare information records.

In this issue of Healthcare Perspective​​, we examine:

  • Minors and Parent/Guardian Consent
  • Exceptions to Parent/Guardian Consent
  • Privacy Rights of Minors
  • Transferring Healthcare Information Records
  • Staff Education

Additional Resources

 

 Healthcare Perspective, Issue 12​​

Medical Error Disclosure: Acknowledging Mistakes Can Help Promote Optimal Resolution

Medical error disclosure programs are the norm in many healthcare practices, as “apology laws” proliferate, and healthcare practitioners and business owners increasingly recognize that candor represents an appropriate course of action from both an ethical and business perspective.

This edition of Healthcare Perspective provides an overview of the medical error disclosure programs that have tended to reduce lawsuits, legal expenses and judgments., including:

In this issue of Healthcare Perspective​​, we examine:

  • Legislative and coverage considerations
  • Overcoming potential barriers to disclosure
  • Suggested strategies when responding to an event
  • Four important strategies for success:
    • Make disclosure mandatory
    • Teach staff how to apologize effectively and sincerely
    • Do not procrastinate
    • Protect staff who report incidents

Additional Resources

 

Healthcare Perspective, Issue 11​​

Depositions: Common Questions and Guidelines for Preparation

Sitting for a deposition in a professional liability lawsuit is potentially one of the most stressful events a business owner or healthcare provider can encounter. Depending on the facts and information revealed, deposition testimony can directly influence the outcome of a case. 

This edition of Healthcare Perspective provides an overview of the legal process and imparts helpful tips on how to prepare for and provide deposition testimony.

In this issue of Healthcare Perspective, ​we examine:

  • Actions that should be taken following receipt of a subpoena
  • Objectives of the pre-deposition meeting with your attorney
  • What a witness can expect during deposition questioning
  • 12 essential tips for conveying confident responses
  • How to avoid missteps during the initial phases of a lawsuit




Additional Resources
 




Healthcare P​erspective, Issue 10

Closing a Practice: Recognizing and Mitigating the Risk Factors

In an age of electronic health records, stringent privacy regulations and widespread concern about identity theft and Medicare fraud, information security has become a major risk management priority. The potential consequences of a privacy data breach involving the theft of patients’ personally identifiable information may include legal action by affected individuals, regulatory fines, and expenses such as patient notification, credit monitoring and public relations.

In this issue of Healthcare Perspective​, we examine:

  • Abandonment Allegations: how to properly notify your patients/clients
  • Patient Record Issues:  how state requirements for record retention may vary
  • Criticism by Purchaser:  how different philosophies may encourage former patients to sue 
  • Professional Liability Insurance: how malpractice policies respond to a claim after you c​lose

Additional Resources

 

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Healthcare Perspective, Issue 9​

Cyber Liability: Minimizing the Risk of a Data Breach

In an age of electronic health records, stringent privacy regulations and widespread concern about identity theft and Medicare fraud, information security has become a major risk management priority. The potential consequences of a privacy data breach involving the theft of patients’ personally identifiable information may include legal action by affected individuals, regulatory fines, and expenses such as patient notification, credit monitoring and public relations.

In this issue of Healthcare Perspective, we examine:

  • Actual occurrences: three real-life privacy breaches at healthcare firms
  • Scope and legal background: a look at the HITECH federal privacy law
  • Types of breaches: the five most common causes of data breaches
  • Risk management: eight strategies you can use to reduce your exposures

Additional Resources 



Healthcare Perspective, Issue 8​

A Guide to Developing, Reviewing and Implementing Written Policies and Procedures

Written policies and procedures primarily seek to improve patient outcomes. Organizations that lack formal protocols or diverge from written policy may find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to providing a legal defense. In the current issue, "Policy and Procedure: A Healthcare Business Owner's Guide to Developing, Reviewing and Implementing Written Protocols," business owners will find a range of guidelines designed to support policy and procedure development and review, including:

  • The mechanics of policy development: research, writing, review/approval and maintenance
  • Policy-drafting guidelines: tips for drafting practical, user-friendly policy statements
  • The role of policy in litigation: allegations of noncompliance with written policies & procedures

Additional Resources 



Healthcare Perspective, Issue 7​

Patient Noncompliance: Reduce Risk by Strengthening Communication

Patient noncompliance can come in many forms: unwillingness to follow a course of therapy, repeated missed appointments, rejecting treatment recommendations, reluctance to take medications, refusal to provide information or chronic late payments. If left unchecked, such conduct may result in litigation. In the current issue, "Patient Noncompliance: Reduce Risk by Strengthening Communication," you’ll find several sound business techniques for dealing with noncompliant patients, including:

  • Sound documentation: how it helps defend against allegations of negligence or abandonment
  • Missed appointments: formulating a written policy and putting procedures in place behavior
  • Communications: risk management recommendations for written communications
  • Refusal-to-consent form: having the patient acknowledge in writing the dangers of noncompliance
  • Terminating the patient-provider relationship: suggested steps to follow to protect your practice

Additional Resources 



Healthcare Perspective, Issue 6

Professional Boundaries: Drawing Lines That Cannot Be Crossed

Inevitably, healthcare providers form relationships with clients they see regularly. Providers need to maintain appropriate boundaries on those relationships for the well-being of both the client and the business. Boundary transgressions can result from actions by the client or the provider – and have serious consequences for both. This issue of Healthcare Perspective examines "Professional Boundaries: Drawing Lines That Cannot Be Crossed." It offers healthcare business owners advice on how to:

  • Define and recognize problematic behavior by providers or clients
  • Understand laws and professional guidelines for responding appropriately to improper behavior
  • Develop sufficient risk management strategies
  • Evaluate policies and procedures with a self-assessment checklist

Additional Resources 



Healthcare Perspective, Issue 5

Contract Review: A Pillar of Healthcare Risk Management

For healthcare business owners, written contracts govern numerous issues, ranging from the delivery of clinical care to outsourced administrative services to building maintenance. When well drafted, in the event of an injury, these agreements can help mitigate liability exposure. When poorly drafted, contracts can result in prolonged and expensive litigation. This edition of Healthcare Perspective, "Contract Review: A Pillar of Healthcare Risk Management," offers a practical guide to contract development, maintenance and review, including:

  • A Contract Liabilty Scenario

  • Contract Terminology
  • Self-assesesment Tool for Reviewing Contracts
  • Sample Healthcare Contract Clauses
  • Sample Job Description for Contract Manager


Additional Resources 

Healthcare Perspective, Issue 4 
Patient/Client Communication: Better Skills Equal Lower Risk


Sound communication is essential for preventing errors and reducing malpractice risks. After an adverse event your communication skills can diffuse a situation or trigger the decision to initiate legal action. In this issue of Healthcare Perspective, we focus on, "Patient/Client Communication: Better Skills Equal Lower Risk." Communication skills can be learned and improved through training. To help healthcare business owners establish and maintain positive patient relationships, this article discusses:

  • Strategies designed to assist staff communication with patients
  • Tips to improve healthcare provider communication with patients
  • How to communicate with noncompliant and angry patients
  • Recommended steps for terminating a patient relationship
  • Maintaining positive relationships through billing and collections processing

Additional Resources  Healthcare Perspective, Issue 3
​​Patient Safety: Addressing the Major Sources of Risk

Titled "Patient Safety: Addressing the Major Sources of Risk," this issue of Healthcare Perspective examines patient safety concerns in home healthcare and ambulatory settings while providing strategies designed to prevent common mishaps. In the article you will learn:

  • Patient Falls — when they commonly occur and how to minimize this frequent source of injury and litigation
  • Healthcare-Acquired Infections — how to enhance your infection prevention, detection and management
  • Equipment Safety — measures you can take to help reduce the risk of equipment malfunction or user error
  • Medication Safety — findings from CNA’s physical therapist, pharmacist and nurse practitioner claim studies on medication-related malpractice claims

Additional Resources

 

 

 Healthcare Perspective, Issue 2

Sound Human Resources Practices: Key to Quality Care

This issue, "Sound Human Resources Practices: Key to Quality Care," focuses on the dangers of lax hiring practices and provides risk management information on what healthcar​e business owners can do to avoid claims from this potential exposure. The issue starts with a claim scenario involving a physical therapist that was not properly screened for employment resulting in a professional liability claim. In this article you'll find sound risk management advice on:
  • What your job application should and shouldn't include
  • How to conduct background checks
  • What you need to know about drug testing 
  • Things to cover during orientation 
  • Continuing education and performance reviews 
  • What your policy and procedure manual should cover 
  • How to conduct an exit interview

Additional Resources



Healthcare Perspective, Issue 1

Principles of Healthcare Risk Management

The premier issue provides suggestions on how to reduce healthcare business owners' exposures by creating a formal risk management program that declares the organization's goals, identifies risks by classifying and assessing the organization's exposures, puts a system in place f​​​or tracking and recording potential incidents, and ensures a process to continually monitor, evaluate and review the program. Issue 1 of Healthcare Perspective is intended to help healthcare business owners reduce liability by:​

  • Examining basic risk management concepts, including the process of creating a risk control program.
  • Suggesting ways to integrate risk control strategies into day-to-day operations, as well as long-term planning. 
  • Providing a self-assessment checklist to identify areas needing improvement.

Additional Resources

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