Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What malpractice risks do hospitalists face?

Ten plus years into the hospitalist movement a data base is accumulating and we're finally seeing some patterns. Here are a few high risk situations noted from a recent article in Today's Hospitalist:

Opiate poisoning, especially with dilaudid.

Comanagement situations if it's not explicitly defined who's responsible for what.

Transitions---ER to ward, ward to OR, OR to ward, etc.

Just being there, as the article explains:

Hospitalists worry that attorneys will take a "scattershot" approach and name everyone on the chart. Is that what you're seeing?

That does happen, at least initially, and there's not much we can do about it. Plaintiff attorneys are going to name everyone they see in the record.

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