Knowledge Library

Hospitalist Communication: Risks and Strategies

 “Ineffective care transition processes lead to:   Adverse outcomes for patients, including medication errors, clinical progression of illness, lack of post-discharge follow up and avoidable emergency department visits;  Decreased patient and staff satisfaction; Inappropriate use of resources; and, Financial penalties through reduction in reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other insurers.” The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM)  Case Study   A 43-year-old married father of three was taken via ambulance to the ED with sudden onset of mid-sternal chest pain as well as numbness and pain radiating to his left arm. History obtained by paramedics included shortness of breath,...

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Patient Complaints: How to Stop Them Before They Start

Studies show that the leading reasons for patient complaints include: delayed receipt of test results; excessive wait when scheduling an appointment or waiting to see the doctor; staff rudeness or a doctor’s poor “bedside manner;” and billing errors. Anticipating problems and responding promptly to com-plaints can prevent an unhappy patient from threatening to sue or hiring an attorney. How to avoid patient complaints: The best way to avoid patient complaints is to establish a positive physician-patient relationship and nurture the health of the relationship over time. Make a good first impression. Telephone triage, scheduling, and front office staff should communicate...

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Claims FAQ: Depositions

Originally Published February 2012 in The Exchange - Issue 1 "An attorney subpoenaed my deposition testimony in a medical malpractice case. I’m not a named defendant and don’t believe it’s a big deal. Do I need representation? What’s my liability risk?" MIEC recommends against a physician testifying in a medical malpractice case without personal representation. Depositions are adversarial and the primary objective is to gain information regarding the care provided. Plaintiffs’ attorneys, as well as the attorneys of other physician defendants, are not your friends during this process and they will not protect an unrepresented physician’s interests. Their obligation is...

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Medical Director for a Skilled Nursing Facility? Some Points to Consider…

Originally Published February 2012 in The Exchange - Issue 1 It is common for physicians to act as medical directors for skilled nursing facilities (SNF), particularly when physicians have a large number of patients in residence at a facility. Physicians may erroneously believe that their liability exposure as medical director will be low if a claim for substandard care is brought against the SNF. Recently, MIEC has seen an increase in the number of lawsuits in which a physician is named as a defendant being sued in his/her capacity as a treating physician and as medical director of a SNF....

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A Physician’s Guide to Social Media

Originally Published February 2012 in The Exchange - Issue 1 The Internet and social media have become a primary source for health information. National Research Corp. recently surveyed more than 22,000 Americans and concluded that 16% use social media sites as a source for health care information. Of those, nearly all respondents named Facebook as their preferred source; YouTube was second with 32% usage followed by Twitter’s 18% usage. Similarly, a 2010 telephone study conducted by Pew Research Center concluded that nearly three quarters of adults surveyed have used the Internet to acquire health information. Online ranking or review sites...

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