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4-1 Chapter 4-Professional Liability and Medical Malpractice McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-2 Learning Outcomes Identify three areas of general liability for which a physician/employer is responsible. Describe reasonable person standard, standard of care, and duty of care. Briefly discuss privacy and confidentiality (see Chapter 7 for detail). List the four elements necessary to prove negligence (the four Ds) and explain them. Discuss elements of a lawsuit. Identify advantages to alternative dispute resolution. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-3 Employers have general liability for: The practice buildings and grounds Automobiles Employee safety McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-4 We may be held negligent if we fail to perform an act that a reasonable person would perform under similar circumstances. Individuals with more training are held to a higher standard of care. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-5 Standard of Care That level of performance expected of a health care worker in carrying out his or her professional duties. Duty of Care The obligation of health care professionals to patients and in some cases, non-patients. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-6 Physicians are held to the standard of care of other practitioners with similar training in the same or comparable community. This means that a specialist is held to a higher standard of care in his or her specialty. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-7 Other health care workers are held to the standard of care of their training and expertise. Health care workers who perform duties usually performed by those with a higher level of training may be held to the higher standard of care. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-8 Breach of confidentiality and /or privacy is both unethical and illegal. A privileged communication is one in which confidential information is held within a protected relationship. Chapter 7 provides detail of HIPAA. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-9 Negligence is an unintentional tort when one may have performed or failed to have performed an act that a reasonable person would or would not have done in similar circumstances. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-10 Malfeasance Performance of a totally wrong and unlawful act. Example: Surgeon performs surgery on the wrong patient. Misfeasance The performance of a lawful act in an illegal or improper manner. Example: Surgeon performs right surgery on right patient in an improper method. Nonfeasance The failure to act when one should. Example: Surgeon does not perform medically necessary surgery. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-11 Duty Person charged with negligence owed a duty to the accuser. Derelict The provider of care breached the duty of care to the patient. Direct Cause The breach of care was direct cause of the patients injuries. Damages There is a legally recognizable injury/damage to the patient. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-12 The thing speaks for itself. Doctrine of common knowledge. Negligent act obviously under control of defendant. Patient did not contribute to accident. Patient would not have been injured if reasonable care had been used. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-13 General Compensatory For losses due to violation of patients rights. Punitive To punish the offender. Special Compensatory For losses not directly caused by the wrong. Consequential For losses caused indirectly by a product defect. Nominal To recognize patient rights were violated, but no actual loss was proven. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-14 Pleadings Phase Complaint is filed and summons issued. Interrogatory or Pretrial Discovery Trial date set, depositions and interrogatories done, subpoenas issued. Trial Phase Jury selected, witnesses testify, verdict reached. Appeals Phase Post-trial motions, action of appeals court. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-15 Fact May be by layperson or health care professional. Concerns only the facts witness observed. Expert Given by witness with education, skills, knowledge, and experience to be considered expert in field. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-16 Method of settling civil disputes by neutral mediators or arbitrators. Mediation Neutral 3 rd party attempts to resolve, but has no authority to impose a solution. Arbitration Neutral 3 rd party resolves and decision is binding on opposing parties. McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
4-17 As a staff member in a physicians office, you are asked by a patient if the physician has ever been sued. How do you respond? You learn that one of the communitys first responders (an EMT) is publicly stating that he will not administer CPR to a patient that may have HIV/AIDS. What is your course of action? You hear through the grapevine that a specialist that your physician often refers patients to has at least five lawsuits pending against him by patients. What is your course of action? McGraw-Hill © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
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