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.

Issue link: http://outpatientsurgery.uberflip.com/i/652284

Contents of this Issue


Page 46 of 160

4 7 M A R C H 2 0 1 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 comes are different for the 3 cases, but there are a few factors that can shape the categorization of the claim: • Who fell? Most of the time, if someone other than the patient falls — like a family member or escort — it's considered general negligence. • Where did the fall occur? Areas common to the public generally tilt the scales toward general negligence, while patient-and-staff only areas are typically considered medical malpractice. • Was there a medical standard of care involved? This can be complicated, though normally if the patient falls as a result of a clinician's profes- sional misconduct, it tends to be classified as malpractice. Protecting yourself To protect your facility from general negligence slip-and-fall lawsuits — which, again, are easier for patients to win and can cost you substantially more — set strict policies that follow industry standards to protect patients. This professionalizes the applicable standards and brings the case, in the event of a suit, into the area of medical malpractice. Note in the second example in "Malpractice or Negligence?" that the hospital had a policy stating that a nurse must escort patients to the restroom. As such, this is a defined part of the nurses' duty of care. When these poli- cies are in place, courts will usually readily classify a patient fall lawsuit as medical malpractice. Make sure these policies are very specific, follow industry guidelines and are explained clearly to staff and physicians. Of course, one of the most obvious ways to prevent slips, trips and falls is to ensure your floors are clean, dry and free of tripping hazards. Don't neglect common areas, like your waiting room or near your doorway, where visitors and patients are constantly on the move. OSM Dr. Stein (astein1@yu.edu) is a professor of law at Cardozo Law School in New York City and has been published in several leading journals, including the Harvard Law Review and Columbia Law Review. He covers developments in medical mal- practice law at steinmedicalmalpractice.com.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

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