Legal Issues

Glenda Motta's picture

By Glenda Motta RN, MPH

In 1978, I was hired to develop a comprehensive discharge planning program at an inner city hospital in Washington, D.C. Way before DRGs and any reimbursement limits were placed on hospitals, this facility knew it had a problem. 40 patients had a length of stay that exceeded 60 days! Can you imagine that scenario today?

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Karen Zulkowski's picture
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By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

How do you act when giving a deposition? It’s not something we covered in school. As I said last month, you probably won’t remember the plaintiff (patient). You may have only taken care of the person once or twice or when they were your patient. They may have gone back and forth to ICU and different units, or between the hospital and nursing home, so you had limited contact with them.

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By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Being involved in a lawsuit is never fun. However, if your facility is sued because a patient developed a pressure ulcer, you may have to testify. Pressure ulcers are the second most common reason for medical lawsuits. The facility and physicians are usually the ones targeted for monetary damages, but everyone that has taken care of the patient, the family that brought the lawsuit, and experts hired by both sides will have to be deposed.

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Karen Zulkowski's picture

Part 1 in a series discussing the process of litigation in patient care lawsuits

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Hopefully none of you will be involved in a lawsuit over patient care. However, pressure ulcers are the second most common lawsuit (wrongful death is #1) and 50% of patients with a pressure ulcer in the hospital go to a nursing home. That is 3 times the rate of any other reason for nursing home placement. To complicate matters, patients with pressure ulcers frequently go back and forth between the hospital and nursing home as additional medical complications arise and the patient’s condition deteriorates.

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Diane Krasner's picture

By Diane Krasner PhD, RN, CWCN, CWS, MAPWCA, FAAN

Wound care clinicians who use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and legal professionals who review NPWT cases should all be focusing on the same standard of wound care issues when it comes to NPWT: