Patients’ Experiences With Communication-and-Resolution Programs After Medical Injury

JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 09, 2017
Authors: Jennifer Moore, Marie Bismark, Michelle M. Mello
“Dissatisfaction with medical malpractice litigation has stimulated interest by health care organizations in developing alternatives to meet patients’ needs after medical injury. In communication-and-resolution programs (CRPs), hospitals and liability insurers communicate with patients about adverse events, use investigation findings to improve patient safety, and offer compensation when substandard care caused harm. Despite increasing interest in this approach, little is known about patients’ and family members’ experiences with CRPs.”
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Adelaide chiropractor allegedly used hidden cameras to indecently film patients, court hears

ABC, 10 October 2017
Author: Rebecca Opie
“An Adelaide chiropractor accused of using hidden cameras to indecently film hundreds of patients, including children, is a self-confessed sex addict, the Adelaide Magistrates Court has heard.”
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Slapping therapist accused of causing boy’s death said Western medicine was poison, court told

SMH, 4 October 2017
Author: Harriet Alexander
“A Chinese “self-healing promoter” accused of causing the death of a six-year-old boy allegedly described Western medicine as “poison” and encouraged diabetics to participate in slapping therapy instead of taking their insulin.”
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Ten-year ban for steroid-prescribing doctor

Australian Doctor, 27 June 2017
Author: Anthony Scholefield
“A doctor who wrote in his notes “naughty boy wants to get buff by April” when prescribing steroids and stimulants to hundreds of body-builders has been struck off for 10 years.”
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Medical device theft at SSM Health puts data on 836 patients at risk

Information Management, 30 May 2017
Author: Joseph Goedert
“A medical device that records physiological data was stolen on April 12 from SSM Health Orthopedics, which operates out of SSM Health-owned DePaul Hospital in St. Louis, potentially affecting the data of 836 patients. The organization said the medical device, which looks similar to a laptop computer, contained in its memory some physiological data as well as protected health information from patients who participated in a study between 2002 and 2017. The organization notified the patients that some of their protected health information has been compromised.”
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Malpractice should be investigated proactively and holistically to identify underlying causes

BMJ 2017; 357: j2510
Author: Simon R Peck
“I question what a public enquiry into the Paterson case will achieve. The facts are already in the public domain, and the theme of institutional failure to act effectively is familiar to us all. Much more useful, in my view, would be a review of how healthcare is regulated and how concerns might better be handled in future.”
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Offending in theatre: the case of Ian Paterson

BMJ 2017; 357: j2583
Author: Gwen Adshead
“This highly trained and experienced doctor seems to have deliberately conned people into having surgery that they did not need, and in doing so convinced them that they were seriously ill and he was saving their lives. The question has been raised as to what his motivation could be.”
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Blocked from public health system, drunk doctor finds job at private hospital

SMH, 7 April 2017
Author: Harriet Alexander
“An anaesthetist who abandoned his patient mid-operation and then passed out from intoxication has found new employment at Shellharbour Private Hospital. The doctor who had a history of drinking on the job, has not returned to work at Wollongong Hospital since the incident on its premises in May last year. But the NSW Medical Board allowed him to continue practising under certain conditions”
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Medical Liability Reform in a New Political Environment

JAMA. 2017; 317(13): 1311-1312.
Authors: Anand Parekh, William Hoagland
“Many physicians, patients, and other interested parties do not consider the current medical malpractice system to be optimal. For example, it has been estimated that only 2% to 3% of patients who experience a medical error file a malpractice claim (although it is unclear how serious those medical errors were and if they would result in an adjudicated malpractice claim), the mean time from claim initiation to closure is more than 5 years, and nearly 50% of all compensation awarded to patients is consumed by attorney fees and administrative charges. With respect to clinicians, the annual risk of having an open malpractice claim has been reported to be 7.4%, and, by age 65 years, most physicians will have been involved in a malpractice claim. In addition, the adversarial nature of the current system makes it difficult to improve patient safety and also creates stress for clinicians.”
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Medical Liability — Prospects for Federal Reform

NEJM, 29 March 2017
Author: Michelle M. Mello, Allen Kachalia, David M. Studdert
“Medical malpractice reform appears to be back on the federal policy agenda. The appointment of Tom Price, a long-time proponent of tort reform, as secretary of health and human services, in conjunction with Republican control of both houses of Congress, has created fertile conditions for several Republican proposals that have languished for years without the requisite support. Although it has been debated many times, a major federal foray into medical liability, a state-based area of law, would be unprecedented. The prospect raises several questions: Which reforms are on the table? Would they be effective? And is the time right?”
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