A Department Head's Liability for a Colleague's Mishap

By Johnson, Lee J. | Medical Economics, November 19, 2001 | Go to article overview

A Department Head's Liability for a Colleague's Mishap


Johnson, Lee J., Medical Economics


Q: I'm chairman of the department of medicine at my community hospital. Although the position is largely an honorary one, rotated among the more senior physicians every couple of years, I'm concerned about my liability in a recent situation.

A patient presented to the emergency department with labor pains and ruptured membranes. Her family physician was contacted. Since it was a breech presentation, he referred the patient to an ob/gyn, who performed a cesarean section. The baby developed cerebral palsy.

We later learned that the patient was diabetic, and the FP hadn't managed her prenatal care properly. Indeed, he shouldn't have been involved in the case at all; his privileges for handling high-risk pregnancies had previously been curtailed, in a document signed by me. But the hospital had failed to inform the FP of the restriction.

Now I've been subpoenaed to give a deposition. To what extent am I liable in this case? A: You and the hospital share liability. The hospital is obliged to credential physicians pursuant to JCAHO certification, state laws and regulations, and its own bylaws. If it fails to do this, it risks losing its accreditation and state license, and being sued for malpractice or corporate negligence. The procedures for notifying the doctor, the operating room, or the labor and delivery suite are probably spelled out quite clearly. In this case, the rules obviously weren't followed.

Your own liability stems from the fact that you didn't have a personal conversation with the FP and didn't send him follow-up documentation. Since this doctor is in your department, personal follow-up is both feasible and advisable as well as good politics. The documentation is necessary for your protection.

As chief of a department, one of your duties is to assure that no unqualified physician practices on your staff. So it's dear that you are also a potential defendant in the case. The fact that you see your title as largely honorary won't help much in court. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Department Head's Liability for a Colleague's Mishap
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.