Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category

Great Expectations Unmet: The Real Reason Patients Sue

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LD, FAPWCA, FAND

Most lawsuits start not because of poor medical care but because families believe promises were made and broken and they are angry.

 

Great Expectations Unmet: The Real Reason Patients Sue

 

If you speak to any health care attorney about the proliferation of lawsuits against hospitals, nursing homes, and health care providers (HCPs) over the last decade or so, you will engage in a conversation peppered with a variety of legal terms. These may include breach of duty, negligence, malpractice, wrongful death, statutory standard of care, or even criminal culpability. It is important to understand that these are formal words with specific legal meanings, and at least a few of them appear on every plaintiff complaint as the reason for the lawsuit.

This is in sharp contrast to every deposition I have ever read from a plaintiff—usually the surviving spouse or child/children of the deceased. These family members never use legal jargon. Instead, they use emotional terms that reveal the true reason they are suing. Unless the family member works in the medical field, they rarely criticize the actual medical care but rather express great sadness with the personal care and the way they were treated. Plaintiffs frequently remark about the lack of caring they felt in health care. It is these words that we must focus on if we are to understand the patient perspective and thereby improve patient satisfaction.

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Say Cheese to the Camera: Wound Photography Shot by Family Members

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LD, FAPWCA, FAND

These days, most people have a camera in their pocket, giving family members the ability to take their own wound photographs.

Say Cheese to the Camera: Wound Photography Shot by Family Members

 

When we talk about wound photography, we usually are referring to health care professionals (HCPs) taking periodic photographs to document the healing process as part of a patient’s permanent medical record. In fact, some new cameras are made specifically for this purpose. Some of these cameras not only capture an image but also can provide wound measurements, and some even offer automated integration into the patient’s electronic health record.

Today, however, HCPs are not the only ones with cameras. Family members or visitors to a wound clinic or health care facility usually have a camera with them, and they love to use it. This has raised new questions in wound care because many of these unofficial photographs become introduced as evidence in lawsuits.

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Using Your Smartphone at Work: A Smart Idea or Not?

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

by Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LD, FAPWCA, FAND

In health care, personal smartphone use at work is a complicated issue with legal implications.

Smartphones at Work

 

The plaintiff attorney drummed his fingers on the table while he stared at nurse Stephanie Holland* for what seemed like an eternity. He was waiting for her to respond to a seemingly simple question during her deposition—“Do you ever use your personal phone at work?”

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