In their latest Trial Advocacy column in the New York Law Journal, NYC Personal Injury Attorneys Ben Rubinowitz and Evan Torgan write: Concurrent or overlapping surgeries are becoming more common in major teaching hospitals. Although studies have suggested that the practice can be performed without endangering patient safety, the attorney prosecuting such a case should focus on the motives behind the practice. Developing “case frames” such as profit over safety will certainly answer questions in the minds of jurors as to who benefits from double booking.
To avoid medical malpractice and make sure their patients are safe, good healthcare organizations stay proactive and identify actual and new risks of medical malpractice to better address them. Every year the ECRI institute, a non profit organization advocating for patient safety, compiles a list of the most urgent issues to be addressed by these organizations. The list, based on more than 2 million events reported to the ECRI Institute, highlights high priority concerns and new risks related to patients safety and proposes solutions to address them.
Diagnostic errors stay the main concern
Diagnostic errors and the opiod epidemic continue to be at the top of the list. Poor Internal Care coordination resulting in numerous medical errors continue to be a major safety concern as well. Staff bending work rules to circumvent or temporary fix what they perceive as a barrier or a system flaw and often unintentionally putting the patient in unsafe condition is also a main issue faced by healthcare organizations. The incorporation of poorly designed Health Information Technology Systems continue to have negative consequences on patients health.
Two recent articles discuss the increased risks of medical practice at surgery centers as they take on increasingly risky surgeries.
A global investigation by Christina Jewett from Kaiser Health News and Mark Alesia from USA Today reveals that since 2013, 260 people died of complications after they went for an in-and-out procedure at a surgery center in America.
Another investigation led by Lindy Washburn from NorthJersey.com found that more than 12,000 serious cases of personal injury including 52 deaths have occurred in New Jersey surgery centers between September 2008 and September 2017. Additionally Washburn also found out that these numbers were only reflecting a partial reality as among the 298 surgery centers installed in New Jersey only half of them have to report to NJ’s Patient Safety Reporting System. In New Jersey surgical centers with only one room don’t need to report their patient safety data. Previous cases of medmal indicate that some victims died in the past but exact numbers are nowhere to be found. In her article Washburn describes several cases including the one of Rekhaben Shah, a 67 year old woman who went to one of these centers for a routine colonoscopy and died two days later. A new law was just passed that will soon require all New Jersey surgical centers to report patients safety data.
New technology, new medication and new treatments can help patients but can also be confusing to the staff and lead to medical malpractice. Every new year brings new challenges for hospitals and doctors. The ECRI institute just published its top 10 hospital watch list for 2018:
Last year the FDA approved reSET®, a prescription app for patients with substance-use disorders. Relying on cognitive-behavioral therapy, the app interacts with the patient to find out if the patient was using, to rate the patient’s craving and to rate his or her feeling. After a few weeks the app is able to turn the data into messages for the patient such as “your urge to do drugs might increase when you feel lonely”. Patients better understand what triggers their urge and doctors can use results for face to face meetings. This app was approved after the FDA found out in a 12 week trial that patients using the app stayed away from their addiction problem for much longer than those who din’t use the app. However the app didn’t show positive results for opiate addicts and therefore the FDA didn’t approve it for patients who used opiates. The manufacturer is working on a separate app for opiate use and is running trials.
The NY Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhornm, Steigman & Mackauf are happy for the family of our client Lissy McMahon. New York Governor Cuomo and the state legislative leaders announced that the Governor will sign Lavern’s Law on Tuesday. With the help of our Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom, Lissy a mother who was misdiagnosed with cancer after the statute of limitations had passed, relentlessly pushed for the passage of this Law. Lavern’s Law moves the starting date of the statute of limitations to the date of the discovery of the misdiagnosis instead of the date the when the misdiagnosis occurred. Sadly Lissy passed away before the signing of the law. She left behind a 15 year old son (read more in our previous blog).
Jeffrey is the Co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Co-Chair of LAWPAC New York, the Trial Lawyers political action committee. In these roles he pushed relentlessly for the passage of the law.
After Cuomo announced that he would sign Lavern’s Law, the family of Lissy McMahon released the following statement:
Our partner, Ben Rubinowitz, a nationally regarded plaintiff’s lawyer, recently lectured at the Winter Urologic Forum sponsored by Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, and University of California Davis.
One of the main topics in his talk focused on the issue of Concurrent Surgeries, or what is commonly referred to as Simultaneous Surgeries. Although many teaching hospitals throughout the country participate in this practice, Rubinowitz made clear that it is not in the best interests of the patient to have the doctor leave the operating room while treating one patient to attend to another.
Although the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently suggested that Concurrent Surgeries were safe for patients, Rubinowitz challenged that study.
Would the risk of medical malpractice increase if New York retailers were allowed to operate in-store clinics or would it just help cutting back on unnecessary visits to the emergency room?
According to Cuomo administration Medicaid could save $10 million every year if corporate outfits such as Wallmart and CVS could run medical clinics in their stores. This is the proposal made to New Yorkers by governor Cuomo last week when he unveiled his budget.
While Governor Cuomo believes that in-store medical clinics would improve access to affordable care, opponents are worried that corporate may be more concerned by profits than by patients well being. They also argue that if a pharmacy runs a clinic they may want to try to increase the pharmacy business through the clinic. Additionally patients visiting these types of clinics will mostly be treated by nurse practitioners or physicians’ assistants rather than by physicians. However Cuomo’s proposal indicates that clinics would only be allowed to treat minor injuries and illnesses.
Our managing partner Ben Rubinowitz has been asked by Columbia, Vanderbilt and University of California Davis Medical Schools to speak about medical malpractice at the 42nd Annual Winter Urologic Forum. The Forum will take place in Vail Colorado at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort from January 13 to January 16 2018. A Top New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer, Ben Rubinowitz and all of the lawyers at our firm have successfully resolved thousands of medical malpractice cases for those who have been injured as a result of medical negligence. Ben commented that ” it is truly an honor to have the privilege of speaking to such a distinguished group of doctors. I always find it interesting that the physicians have asked a plaintiff’s lawyer rather than a defendant’s lawyer to deliver the National Lecture on Medical Malpractice.”
This meeting will summarize for practicing urologists and other interested professionals, new concepts in diagnosis and treatment for conditions including local and advanced prostate and bladder cancer, lower urinary tract symptoms, incontinence, urinary tract infection, reconstructive urology, andrology and medical malpractice. At the completion of the meeting, urologists will have been exposed to methods to optimize patient care well maintain patient centricity of care delivery.
The session on Medical Malpractice will take place on Monday January 15 at 4:00 pm. Ben Rubinowitz will explain how doctors can protect themselves from being sued and what they should do if they are sued. The moderator for this session will be Roger R. Dmochowski, MD, MMHC, FACS.
Our managing partner, New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Ben Rubinowitz was invited by the New York Section of the American Urological Association Education & Research to participate in their 115th annual meeting. This meeting took place in Havana, Cuba, from November 5th to November 11th. During the meeting participants attended scientific sessions covering:
- Kidney Cancer
- Female Urology/Voiding Dysfunction
Medical technology advancements globally increase quality and length of life however they don’t come without risks and hazards. New health technologies if not proprely used can also hurt patients and lead to medical malpractice. Every year the ECRI Institute publishes a list of the top 10 Health Technology Hazards. The 2018 report just came out. Here are the 10 most important safety issues in Health Technology for 2018:
- Cyber security attacks
The health care sector is the second most attacked sector by ransomewares after the financial sector. Health information not only contain patient health information but also crucial financial information such as social security numbers. Unfortunately many healthcare organizations are extremely vulnerable. Their computers operating systems are often outdated and they are not prepared to face criminals holding patient’s information hostage and expecting payout in exchange. Last month a sophisticated group of hackers operating under the name “Dark Overlord”stole pictures from a high profile London plastic surgeon that included pictures of in-progress genitalia and breast enhancement of patients. Patients include celebrities and members of the royal family. The hackers also attacked numerous medical centers in the US last year.