Mitigating Liability through Proper Health Care Management
Learning from mistakes is not something that is accepted in health care. Near-miss and error reporting is an essential component of safety programs across safety conscious industries. Within health care, though, many physicians are often reluctant to engage in patient safety activities and be open about errors because they believe they are being asked to do so without adequate assurances of legal protection. Having proper health care management could better prevent inevitable human errors from reaching patients. But understanding the root causes of errors requires their divulgence in the first place. By having a solid management of health care some benefits includes surgical innovation and decreasing patient injury, accurate documentation, and efficient risk management.
First let take a look at surgical innovation. The current practices in surgical innovation raise concems about the appropriate balancing of patient safety and medical progress. A review of the surgical and bioethics literature reveals disagreement about whether the practice of surgical innovation is in need of urgent attention, as well as varying opinions on the appropriate characterization of innovations (Mastroianni 354). Some critics have suggested that the risk of patient harm and the corresponding need for increased accountability are significant enough that surgeons should subject their approaches to some form of independent prior review and ensure that patients are specifically informed of the innovation during the informed consent process (Mastroianni 354). Mastoianni examines the implications of the earlier competing claims from a U.S. legal perspective, focusing particularly on how the legal system addresses patient safety concerns and autonomous decision-making of surgeons in the context of surgical innovation. The benefits of new procedures to current and future patients is something that must be balanced with the lack of oversight and the risks borne by patients during surgeons' development and subsequent alteration of a novel procedure. Proper health care management can be useful to help restructure the health care system to actively encourage physicians and other health care professionals to participate in patient safety improvement activities. The goal of any such reorganizing should be to reduce court cases by decreasing patient injury, by encouraging open communication and disclosure among patients and providers, and by assuring prompt and fair compensation when safety systems fail. Now let's take a look at how documentation affects the management of health care.
Documentation is another important part of proper health care management. Documentation for health care should be in a universal format. By using a universal format it allows for communication among health care practitioners. Documentation is also very important when it comes to health care because of HIPAA which stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA is a federal guideline that aims to ensure that patient information and records are protected and maintain their integrity. This can not be accomplished without proper health care management. Furthermore, documentation should reflect patient agreement with the care plan among multiple providers in terms of medication reconciliation, data collection, continuity of care, and the transitioning of care (Blackburn 1852). According to Blackburn approximately 46% of the medication errors in the institutional setting occur during admission or discharge when new orders are requested for patients. Imagine being discharged from the hospital with the wrong medication or amount of medication because of documentation errors. This could cause a major health complication and can result in a law suit or even worse death. Written documentation is one key to a winning, open-communication partnership among providers. In addition, accurate,...
Cited: Blackburn, R. W., Brown, T. R., Chen, D., & Zierler-Brown, S. (2007). Clinical documentation for patient care: Models, concepts, and liability considerations for pharmacists. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 64(17), 1851-1858.
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