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New Medicolegal Analysis Identifies Risks Associated with Implantable Devices for Pain Management

  • April 3, 2017

New study sheds light on a rare, but serious complication


A newly-published, peer review study leverages the CRICO Strategies national Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS) to identify risks associated with implantable devices for pain management. The study, A Contemporary Medicolegal Analysis of Implanted Devices for Chronic Pain Management, appears in the April 2017 issue of Journal of Anesthesia and Analgesia.

Working with physician researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Penny Greenberg, MS, RN, CPPS, Senior Program Director for CRICO Strategies, and Ellen Song, Business Intelligence Analyst for CRICO, studied complications associated with intrathecal drug delivery systems and spinal cord stimulators. The researchers identified that deficits in technical skill, followed by deficits in clinical judgment, communication, and documentation, were prominent contributors to patient injury. With these insights, the study provides a road map for organizations to address these vulnerabilities and reduce patient harm.

“This study is a great illustration of the depth and breadth of the CBS database and the ability to leverage it to shed light on a rare, but serious complication,” says Michael Oliver, Assistant Vice President for CRICO Strategies. Continued Oliver, “In addition to offering my congratulations to the team that worked on this study, I’d like to thank our CBS Community members for their important contribution to this work. It is because of their dedication and commitment to clinically coding and analyzing their medical malpractice data that we can collectively advance the patient safety movement.”

CRICO Strategies clients contribute their malpractice claims to its national Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS) which currently holds nearly 400,000 medical malpractice cases from more than 20 captive and commercial medical malpractice insurers representing more than 550 health care entities nationwide. CBS provides a unique insight into what goes wrong, and why, offering intelligence to specific risk vulnerabilities. Armed with this data, health care providers and leaders have a clear line of sight on how to change specific clinical systems or clinician behaviors and mitigate those dominant risks and reduce their malpractice exposure.


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CRICO Strategies is a division of the Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions, Inc., a CRICO company. Through participation in our national Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS), business, clinical, and patient


Citation for the Full-text Article
Abrecht CR, Greenberg P, Song E, Urman RD, Rathmell JP. A contemporary medicolegal analysis of implanted devices for chronic pain management. Anesthesia and Analgesia. April 2017;124(4):1304-1310. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000001702. (subscription may be required)