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Patient Safety Pods

Case studies and interviews are aligned with clinical specialties and high risk areas identified in the Harvard system.

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Cures Act Opens Clinical Notes to Patients
By Tom A. Augello, CRICO

New federal law gives patients access to almost everything in their medical record, including clinical notes. It allows for a different kind of partnership between patients and providers where they are co-producing the outcome. This may be good for both patient safety and risk management.

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Help For Optimizing Care and Preventing Risk With Virtual Visits
By Tom A. Augello, CRICO

A new guide called Patient Safety Guidance for the Virtual Visit: Managing Risk in a New Care Setting is available free online. It was produced by the Academic Medical Center Patient Safety Organization, and covers a range of issues from the first decision to engage in a virtual visit with a patient, to the follow-up needed to close important loops, and even quality improvement measures. Dr. Philip Ciampa, task force member, walks through some of the key points.

 

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Unclear Discharge Instructions, Patient Loses Foot
By Tom A. Augello, CRICO,
Margaret Janes, CRICO

In a lawsuit naming the Emergency Medicine physician and a nurse, the patient alleged that a dressing was applied too tightly, compromising the circulation and resulting in a gangrenous foot, requiring amputation. Despite an eventual defense verdict, some lessons show how to prevent this bad clinical result and a five-year legal ordeal.

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Hospital Fights to Head off Care Disparities During Pandemic
By Tom A. Augello, CRICO

For vulnerable and under-served communities, patient safety and quality care were at added risk from the COVID-19 pandemic. At Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, an established team for care equity and diversity knew early on in the pandemic that they had a lot of work to do.

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The Earlier the Better: More MedMal Insurers Offer Real-Time Support After Patient Harm
By Tom A. Augello, CRICO

The goal of these new early resolution and communication programs isn’t just transparency, but early and added involvement from the insurer and the health institution. And it almost doesn’t matter if there was any negligence. It also doesn’t seem to lead to more lawsuits and higher costs.

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Clinicians are Far from Alone During a Lawsuit
By Pamela Gilman, Esq.

The defendant is the single most important witness at trial. In many cases, the outcome of a trial will come down to whether or not the jurors like and trust the defendant. For this reason, defense attorneys and malpractice insurers are offering defendant clinicians more support services to prepare for testimony and cope with stress.

 

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Getting Clinicians in Lawsuits to Care for Selves is Hard
By Tom A. Augello, CRICO

How a clinician is coping with the impact of being sued can be a significant factor in how effective he or she is as a defendant. But getting clinicians to accept help is often a challenge.

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Woman Dies from Post-op Stroke When Anticoagulant Not Restarted
By Jennifer Sanchez, CRICO, Tom A. Augello, CRICO

Restarting heparin was not in the post-op instructions. In a lawsuit naming four physicians, the patient’s estate alleged negligent failure to restart anticoagulation, resulting in a stroke and ultimately, her death. The case was settled for more than a million.

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The Pain and Reward of Delivering Palliative Care During COVID
By Tom A. Augello, CRICO

Excellent palliative care is inherently challenging. Over-capacity hospitals and a shortage of palliative specialists that pre-dated the COVID  crisis have led to some improvisation and innovation.. An expert practitioner from the Metro DC area shares his personal experience and some insights that might help improve communication between any specialist and their patients.

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