ANA CE: Make your nursing care malpractice-proof

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    Read in: American Nurse Today
    Issue Date: January 2012 Vol. 7 No. 1
    Author: Deanna L. Reising, PhD, RN, ANCS-BC, ANEF

    Make your nursing care malpractice-proof

    You just found out youíve been named as a defendant in a malpractice suit. A sense of dread comes over you as you desperately try to remember the patient, family, and situation involved. Your hospitalís risk manager calls you to come in and discuss the case.
    Malpractice suits against nurses have risen significantly over the past decade. From 2000 to 2009, two in every 100 malpractice payments were generated from claims against nurses.

    A nurse can be named specifically in a malpractice suit or can be implicated as an employee of an institution. In either case, nurses named in such suits commonly find the experience life-altering, particularly if the suit goes to trial. A malpractice lawsuit can strain oneís emotional and financial resources, so itís in your best interest to do everything in your power to avoid one. This article gives you the knowledge to do so....

    Common categories of malpractice claims

    Six categories of nursing malpractice claims have been identified:

    • failure to follow standards of care
    • failure to use equipment in a responsible manner
    • failure to assess and monitor
    • failure to communicate
    • failure to document
    • failure to act as a patient advocate or follow the chain of command.

    Each category is described below using a case-based approach. The cases show how diverse malpractice claims can be....

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