Simple steps to cut your hospital’s malpractice risk
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
As an administrator, you know that eliminating as much risk as possible when it comes to malpractice and patient safety is job No. 1. Outside of the complex legal advice and institutional safeguards you already have in place, it's always a good idea to double back and make sure that your staff is implementing more simplistic, yet equally vital, steps during the course of daily patient care duties.
Utilize these scientifically backed advice pieces of advice to keep your hospital covered.
Monitor interpersonal conflict.
A study from the University of Aberdeen found that disagreements or rudeness between healthcare workers in confined settings might distract team members enough to impair their thinking skills during procedures. Set strict guidelines regarding acceptable behavior during task execution, and ask your senior physicians to enforce them.
Assign a patient safety nurse to each floor.
According to the Yale School of Medicine, when a patient safety nurse is overseeing care on a ward, and when doctors and nurses help that nurse by communicating with teamwork, payments for liability claims can drop as much as 95 percent. That's a pretty cost-effective measure and also makes patients feel more protected.
Employ basic written checklists.
It's a simple step that's often overlooked; when operating room teams don't follow specific task lists, research shows they're 75 percent more likely to miss critical complications that could lead to cardiac arrest or bleeding emergencies. Use a signature system to make sure each worker in the OR has completed their checklist responsibilities as they work systematically.
Hear outpatient problems immediately.
If a patient has a complaint, make sure it's listened to respectfully and thoroughly as quickly as possible. Make a clear effort to address and rectify their concern, and show them clearly how you've taken action.
Check in consistently with each ward.
Visit your floors at least once a day to get progress reports and nip issues in the bud — if a potential malpractice risk does come up, you can take fast preventative action. The more questions you ask, the more proactive you can be.
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