Lawyers Can’t Reform Nursing Home Industry Alone

The New England Journal of Medicine published an article last month that discussed research done on the correlation between a nursing home’s inspection results and it’s risk of being sued. Not surprisingly, the more frequent the deficiencies, the more likely that facility is going to be sued for nursing home abuse or neglect. Researchers used information gathered through programs called OSCAR (the Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting System) and MDS (Miniumum Data Set) Quality Measure Indicator Report. The OSCAR system contains all survey and certification information for any Medicare and/or Medicaid certified care facility in the … [Read more...]

Medical Malpractice and Sleep Deprivation; Should Surgeons Disclose to Patients When They Haven’t Slept?

As a New Jersey and Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney, I found a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine quite interesting. It posed a question regarding surgeons and their often wearisome schedules; Should a surgeon who has been deprived sleep in the past 24 hours be obligated to do disclose such to his/her patient? Surgeons and Surgery Schedules Sleep deprivation can affect a surgeon or physician's clinical and physical performances as severely as alcohol intoxication, and therefore increase risk of medical malpractice. But for a hospital, the task of ensuring that it's surgeons are not suffering from … [Read more...]

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Keep Debunking Tort Reform Myths!

A key issue in the tort reform debate involves "defensive medicine." Supporters of medical malpractice litigation reform claim that "defensive medicine," usually in the form unnecessary and preemptive testing, is largely due to a widespread physician fear of lawsuits. They claim that these tests drive up the costs of health care, and that reducing a doctor's chances of being sued would simultaneously reduce the occurrences of defensive medicine, and thus reduce the costs of health care. However, a recent study performed out of the University of Iowa and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (the nation's largest philanthropy devoted to … [Read more...]

Medical Malpractice Events Not Decreasing, According to New England Journal of Medicine

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published research executed by Harvard Medical School that shows that the number of medical malpractice events (referred to in the article as patient harms) has not decreased in the last 6 years, despite numerous prevention efforts. Medical Malpractice Study by Harvard Medical School Researchers examined 6 years worth of medical records from 10 different North Carolina hospitals. Over 2,300 admissions records were examined from 2002 thru 2007. Records were chosen at random and reviewed by teams of nurse reviewers. The study found 588 patient harms, including surgical errors, medicinal … [Read more...]

Disclosure of Large Medical Malpractice Events Uncommon

An article published in the September issue of the New England Journal of Medicine included the results of research done, that claimed that disclosure of medical malpractice that affects individual patients is becoming more common among health care organizations. However, the disclosure of Large Scale Adverse Events, or LSAEs, does not happen as often. LSAEs can include incompletely sterilized surgical tools, poor lab quality control, or equipment malfunctions. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or the AHRQ, funded the research into the disclosure practices of hospitals and private practices. AHRQ director Carolyn Clancy, … [Read more...]