Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Why Can't He Eat or Drink After Midnight? - March 2016 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 45 of 160

4 6 O U T P AT I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | M A R C H 2 0 1 6 Malpractice or Negligence? Here are 3 examples to demonstrate the differences among these kinds of cases. You make the call: Is it medical malpractice or general negli- gence? — Alex Stein, PhD 1 A patient's family escort arrives at the hospital to see the patient in recovery. When entering the hospital's reception area, the visitor slips on a wet mat and hurts herself. She sues the hospital for negligence, but the hospital argues she must meet the special requirements for medical malpractice suits. The court sides with the visitor and categorizes the suit as general negli- gence. 2 A patient undergoes a minor procedure and is in recovery when he has to use the bathroom. Though facility policy requires the nurse to escort him, she lets the patient go alone as he says he feels fine. As he starts to move, the patient becomes dizzy and falls. The court rules that the complaint constitutes medical malpractice. 3 A patient is receiving an MRI. At the end of the imaging procedure, the staffer instructs the patient to get up and step down from the procedure room bed, without offering any additional assistance. As the patient stands up, he slips. A lower court rules that it's medical malpractice, while an appeals court says it might be general negligence. The patient was injured in a patient- only area, but sometimes courts linger on the question of whether the action — in this case, a patient stepping down from a bed — requires professional help, or if it's an action the patient should inherently know how to do while receiving non-professional assistance or even no assistance whatsoever. General negligence The visitor fell in a public area due to negligence of the facility (the wet floor mat). Medical malpractice Patient fell while being cared for in PACU — even though facility had a policy in place for caring for patients who needed to go to the bathroom. Medical malpractice When the court believes that aiding the patient in getting down from the bed is within the provider's professional stan- dard of care, it will rule it as potential medical malpractice. YOU MAKE THE CALL Medical Malpractice MM

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