Be Mindful of Your Team’s Certification and Training Status—or Be Prepared to Pay the Price

Be Mindful of Your Team’s Certification and Training Status—or Be Prepared to Pay the Price

An urgent care center in New Mexico is learning the hard way that ensuring all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed matters, regardless of the expertise of your clinicians. Management has been quoted in local media saying that every member of their team is (and has been) up to date on necessary training, but the company still had to pay a $13,500 penalty to settle violations of state-mandated training requirements for x-ray technicians. The …

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Be Vigilant—Sexual Misconduct Claims Are Bad for All Concerned

Be Vigilant—Sexual Misconduct Claims Are Bad for All Concerned

Where staff and patients of the opposite sex or same-sex orientation are together in private, there is a risk for perceived or actual inappropriate advances, or worse. An urgent care operator in Georgia is grappling with such a situation at this very moment, as a medical assistant was arrested and charged with improper sexual contact by an employee or agent in the first degree. A patient alleged that the MA made “unwanted sexual contact with …

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Flouting Mandates and Misinforming Patients Bring Swift Consequences (ie, Loss of License)

Flouting Mandates and Misinforming Patients Bring Swift Consequences (ie, Loss of License)

We’re all entitled to our opinions. More often than not, differences occur between healthcare providers and patients, such as when you’re trying to convince a reluctant individual to get the COVID-19 vaccine. When there’s disagreement between a licensed physician and governing bodies, though, there’s a more statutory concern. And a physician in Oregon just got a taste of how severe the consequences are for those who stray from passive disagreement to outright disobedience. The primary …

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Think Your State Requires COVID-19 Vaccination for Your Team? You Might Need to Think Again

Think Your State Requires COVID-19 Vaccination for Your Team? You Might Need to Think Again

Controversial as the move might be, more states are requiring healthcare workers (HCWs) to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. Often, the deadline gives those workers at least weeks to comply, while some rules offer the option of submitting to regular COVID-19 tests instead. At least one state, though, appears to have a mandate that leaves a gaping hole in the effort. As reported in the Portland Press Herald, many HCWs whose employer is not affiliated with …

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A Patient Died from COVID-19—and the Family is Suing the Doctor and PA Who Treated Him

A Patient Died from COVID-19—and the Family is Suing the Doctor and PA Who Treated Him

When a patient presented with telltale symptoms of COVID-19 last fall, the physician assistant did the responsible thing and ordered a test. It came back positive. The patient died 3 weeks later, and now the man’s family is suing both the PA, the supervising physician, and the practice, alleging that their husband’s and father’s demise was due to inadequate care. First, the family claims that clinicians did not warn the patient that he was at …

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Accepting the Presenting Complaint as the Whole Story Could Doom Your Patient and Land You in Court

Accepting the Presenting Complaint as the Whole Story Could Doom Your Patient and Land You in Court

The operator of a Missouri urgent care center was at the center of a tragic story in which a 1-year-old patient died—with that operator found culpable in the ensuing lawsuit and ordered to pay a $1.8 million judgment. (The jury had originally ordered the company to pay $3 million, which exceeds the state cap on malpractice suits.) The boy’s parents first brought him to a primary care clinic with symptoms attributed to pneumonia. Months later, …

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Failing to Protect Your Team from Unruly Patients Puts Them—and Your Business—at Risk

Failing to Protect Your Team from Unruly Patients Puts Them—and Your Business—at Risk

A Philadelphia hospital is learning the hard way that even the possibility of failing to ensure adequate safety measures for its healthcare workers can have serious consequences for those workers, as well as the hospital’s own reputation and legal standing. Pennsylvania Hospital is being sued by a Resident who was assaulted by a psychiatric patient during an examination. The physician claims that his employer’s failure to install security cameras and to assess whether the patient …

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The Risk of Ignoring Clinical Policies Is Real—and Can Be Severe for Patients and the Practice

The Risk of Ignoring Clinical Policies Is Real—and Can Be Severe for Patients and the Practice

When a 6-year-old boy with a slight fever and thigh pain was brought to an urgent care center for evaluation, there were no red flags for anything ominous. The physician who saw the boy suspected nothing more than an infection, for which she prescribed an antibiotic. When the patient and his parents returned the next day to report that while the fever was gone the boy was still in pain, the physician ordered an x-ray. …

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Hospital Workers Sued Their Employer Over a Vaccine Mandate. It Didn’t Go Well

Hospital Workers Sued Their Employer Over a Vaccine Mandate. It Didn’t Go Well

By now, most Americans who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (which amounts to most Americans) have probably gotten it—unless they have opted not to. That can prove problematic from more than just a public health perspective when employers try to force the issue. Anecdotally, we’ve learned that a surprisingly high number of healthcare workers have refused to be immunized. So, it should be of interest that a federal judge in Texas just dismissed …

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There Are a Lot of Misperceptions About HIPAA and COVID-19 Vaccination Status. This May Help

There Are a Lot of Misperceptions About HIPAA and COVID-19 Vaccination Status. This May Help

As states allow public venues and private businesses to relax standards regarding attendance and social distancing, the question of who is vaccinated and who is not is becoming more prevalent—and more contentious. Some athletic stadiums have established special sections where people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (and who can prove it with a vaccine “passport”) can sit closer together, forego masks, and even enjoy different concession-stand items than their unvaccinated peers. This has raised …

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