Medical Malpractice Bulletin – July/August 2013

Perspective:  Electronic Health Records (EHRs): Can we trust them?

Media, government and most of organized medicine view the EHR as the answer to much of what is wrong with medical care in America. In part, that may be true. But the past year has seen a flurry of studies and articles pointing out that there is a downside to all of this technology. And much of the downside relates to the credibility of both the record and the practitioner entering data into it. This month’s “Perspective” addresses why both plaintiff and defense attorneys should remain skeptical of the information contained in an EHR. Click here to view.

In other news:

Research Suggests Heparin No Benefit In Acute Ischemic Stroke.

A study in Lancet Neurology summarizing the results of the 5 largest trials of heparin usage in stroke was unable to define a target group of patients who would benefit from the drug.  Thus, guidelines recommending the use of heparin in stroke, whether routinely or in selected patients, appear to be unfounded.

Infographic: Medical Malpractice Payouts – 2012

Just about everything you would ever want to know about payments made for medical malpractice is covered in this extensive infographic by Matt Hupe of Diedrick Healthcare.

Loss of Chance Doctrine: State Laws Evolving

Even when the chance of survival is less than 5o%, many states allow a lawsuit to be brought on the basis that a patient was denied the opportunity to benefit from potentially helpful treatment. The laws in most states are evolving, and this article in Medical Economics by Lee Johnson, JD, summarizes the current state of the “loss of chance” doctrine.

Inflight Medical Emergencies

“If you are a physician, please press your flight attendant call button.” If you’ve ever wondered about the frequency of inflight medical emergencies, what happened, who helps, and what the outcomes are, Peterson et al. published a nice study on the subject in the May 30 issue of NEJM.

Are TASERS Safe? What Are the Complications?

Here’s a quick overview of the key medical points on TASERS as published in Emergency Physicians Monthly. If you want even more information check out this book: Atlas of Conducted Electrical Weapon Wounds and Forensic Analysis, edited by Jeffrey D. Ho, MD et al.

 

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