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Confidentiality risks: disclosure without consent
Issues around confidentiality still feature commonly among calls to our advice line and some recent cases have highlighted complexities with regard to sharing patient information with third parties.
Risks associated with serious illnesses in children: introduction to MDDUS roundtable of experts
This month sees the release of the first of two MDDUS roundtable discussions centred on the risks associated with treating seriously ill children. This is a difficult area for doctors, and GPs in particular, as they will see several sick children in a surgery with common childhood illnesses, most of whom have no serious consequences.
Managing risk: health issues in colleagues
Members often use this phrase to introduce a difficult subject and one of the most difficult to broach is that of concerns about a colleague. The GMC has made it clear that doctors have a duty to take steps when they have concerns about a colleague’s fitness to practise.
Prescribing errors: short term and long-term risks
Prescribing errors constitute one of the top risk areas for general practice and account for 13 per cent of all GP claims reported to the MDDUS. The average cost of these claims is more than £12,000 and the harm caused by a misprescribed or unmonitored medication can be serious and long lasting.
Medical errors: necessary fallibility!
In my last blog I highlighted the case of a missed lung cancer diagnosis where several GPs in the same practice failed to appreciate the potential seriousness of the presenting symptoms, leading to a delayed diagnosis, and ultimately a hastened death.
Communication, communication, communication!
Inadequate handover of clinical information carries significant risks for both clinicians and their patients. As a biochemistry registrar in a large tertiary hospital I regularly encounter clinical risk as we try to effectively communicate critical results out-of-hours.
Risks associated with poor knowledge of English addressed by new GMC powers
Until recently the GMC could do little where concerns were raised about the language skills of registered doctors. Recent changes in the Medical Act 1983, which came into effect on 25 June 2014, seek to address this omission.
Diagnosis risks: playing the odds
A recent BBC health news headline trumpeted that doctors in Britain are “missing opportunities" to spot lung cancer at an early stage, meaning one in three people with the disease dies within 90 days of diagnosis.
Risk reduction: monitoring of chronic diseases
Regular readers of our risk blogs will be aware by now that missed or delayed diagnoses are associated with a large proportion of medical negligence claims in general practice, as evidenced in the analysis of MDDUS case files.
Reducing risk - making yourself available (in more ways than one)
Working on November’s video module – Human factor risks: team communication – had me reflecting on what being available and accessible to the healthcare team actually means for a clinician. Availability and accessibility can be fairly complex issues and a lack of clinician accessibility can influence risk.