Nursing Malpractice: Liability and Risk Management

By Charles C. Sharpe | Go to book overview

5

The Nurse at Risk for a
Malpractice Lawsuit

COMMON BASES OF NURSING MALPRACTICE LAWSUITS
There are a number of common bases that have been consistently identified as giving rise to malpractice lawsuits against nurses. These can be grouped into seven principal categories:
1. Safety: Failure to ensure patient safety and make this a priority—incidents of patient falls continue to be a major cause of malpractice suits against nurses who did not recognize possible risk factors and/or failed to take appropriate preventive measures.
2. Medication administration errors: Most such errors are the result of failure to follow the basic techniques and guidelines of medication preparation and administration. Parenteral medications are a primary risk. One or more of the six [rights] had not been observed: the right (1) patient, (2) medication, (3) dose, (4) route, (5) time, and (6) technique.
3. Assessment and monitoring: Failure to properly monitor, assess, and report a patient's status—this has been identified in a majority of malpractice lawsuits.
4. Procedures and treatments: Improper or inadequate nursing intervention—not following the institution's policies and procedures, including risk management principles.

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