For counseling professionals, particularly those who prescribe medications and/or monitor their use by patients, the ability to manage medication-related risks is critical to ensuring the safety of patients and avoiding liability. This is important not only for professionals in the field of mental health, but increasingly also for pediatric physicians.
Errors in health care can involve a wide variety of circumstances. Whether a patient is in a medical or surgical setting, a mental health setting, or some other area of health care, there is always a risk that something can go wrong. When a patient is harmed in the course of health care it is important the patient, or his or her surviving family, seek help in pursuing just compensation for their damages.
According to a recent report published by the Economic Alliance for Michigan, hospitals situated in neighborhoods with predominantly lower income residents tend to score lower in quality and patient safety assessments when compared to hospitals in higher-income neighborhoods.
In our last post, we began looking at the unfortunate lack of transparency in medical care, and the effort in some quarters of the profession to improve the situation by adopting policies requiring physicians to more readily empathize with patients when errors do occur.
Mistakes occur all the time in medical care. Some of them are serious while others are relatively minor, having little or no long-term effect. As patients, we expect that our physicians will help guide us through the medical decision-making process, and this includes helping us to assess the effectiveness of treatments, surgeries, protocols and procedures to which we may be submitting.
In our previous post, we began looking at the issue of auditory masking in the context of medical device alarms. As we noted, auditory masking can make it difficult, if not impossible, for health care providers in emergency room and surgical settings to do their job and to appropriately respond to critical situations that arise in the provision of care.
In health care, there are a variety of things that can go wrong, both when health care providers act negligently and even when they are doing their job according to accepted standards and procedures. Some of the mistakes made by health care providers can be attributed to improper use of electronic records and other technology used in health care.
In our previous post, we pointed out that, in addition to the statutory requirements that must be met by expert witnesses, there is also the issue of the credibility of the witness that must be carefully considered. This is important not only because a witness who lacks credibility could potentially be barred from participation in the case, but also because a witness who lacks credibility will not be a valuable asset before a jury.
In recent posts, we looked briefly at what exactly an affidavit of merit is and the requirement a physician must meet in order to sign off on an affidavit. As we noted, physicians must meet the same requirements as an expert witness, which we briefly summarized last time.
In our last post, we began looking at what exactly an affidavit of merit is in the context of medical malpractice litigation. As we pointed out last time, an affidavit of merit is a document to be filed with the court which establishes the merits of the case. To that end, an affidavit provides the basic allegations establishing the elements of the medical malpractice case. Getting the affidavit right is one of the first steps to proceeding with a successful medical malpractice case. The aim is to assure the court that the claim is not frivolous.