The Law Offices of John Phebus

Best practices identified for Arizona orthopedic surgeons

A study conducted by one of the country's leading medical malpractice insurance companies about patient outcomes and legal actions following orthopedic surgeries revealed steps surgeons and their staffs can take to reduce complications. The study singled out improper surgery performance as the leading type of allegation in medical malpractice suits arising from orthopedic surgeries. Among the legal actions analyzed, 46 percent of patients cited this reason. Another 16 percent of the claims related to poor patient management.

In an effort to improve patient outcomes, medical professionals have identified practices that reduce lawsuits. Teamwork among the entire medical staff could catch more complications before they become severe. Everyone should know the signs of serious complications and be willing to communicate the information to the surgeon. Protocols should be established among staff members so they know what to look for and what questions to ask.

Surgeons should also make ongoing training a professional priority. A physician from the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic said cadaver courses in which surgeons can practice new techniques are more available than they used to be. Web-based training with virtual reality presentations also offers surgeons a venue for continuing their education and improving surgical techniques.

Patient education counted high among best practices for reducing negative outcomes, especially legal actions. When patients know what is normal and what is a complication, they are better able to advocate for timely care. The medical staff, however, bears responsibility for providing adequate care, and a person who suffered an injury during or after surgery might want to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to determine whether filing a lawsuit based upon hospital negligence is advisable.

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