HMGT 372 University of Maryland Legal Issues and Ethics in Healthcare Responses

DescriptionFrom Klareese: The critical healthcare error that this article addresses is the fact
that Christopher Duntsch was practicing under the influence of drugs and
alcohol. Duntsch had been found guilty of felony medical malpractice. He first
obtained his medical license in 2011 and began facing allegations only two
years later. Over a 16-month period, “Duntsch was accused of botching
procedures that severely injured patients, or resulted in their deaths” (Cline,
2021). Duntsch was criminally charged and is currently serving a life sentence.
(2021) “Dallas prosecutors charged Duntsch with five counts of aggravated
assault with deadly weapons (his hands and surgical tools) and one count of
causing seriously bodily injury to an elderly person” (2021). Between 2011 and
2023 Duntsch operated on 37 people, killing two and injuring 31. He lost his
appeal case and has a possible parole hearing on July 20, 2045. (2021) Due to
Duntsch’s use of drugs and alcohol he brought harm to many patients.
CBS Interactive. (2021, July 21). Who is Christopher Duntsch, the man
nicknamed ‘dr. Death’ who injured patients during surgery. CBS News.
Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/colorado/news/christopher-duntschwho-is-dr-death-colorado-doctor-texas-injured-patients/
Cline, M. (2021, September 15). Texas doctor found guilty of felony in medical
malpractice case. MedMalFirm.com. Retrieved from
https://www.medmalfirm.com/news-and-updates/texas-doctor-guilty-felonymalpractice-case/
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From Jasmine: The HIPAA Journal News posted on April 18, 2023, a class action lawsuit that
has been filed against Conifer and Tenet Healthcare over a breach of the protected health
information of thousands of individuals. The lawsuit was a HIPAA violation filed in response
to a breach of a Microsoft 365-hosted business email account that was detected on April 14,
2022. The information in the compromised email account included full names, home
addresses, dates of birth, medical and treatment information, health insurance information,
and billing and claims information, with some individuals also having their Social Se curity
numbers, financial account information, and driver’s license numbers compromised.
The HCO is facing the lawsuit most likely because they don’t have a HIPAA compliance
checklist in place to ensure they comply with the provisions applicable to the org anization’s
operations. Based on the personal information in the compromised email, the HCO is
required to comply with the application Administrative Simplification provisions of the
Security and Breach Notification Rules and any Administrative Requirements or Privacy Rule
Provisions stipulated in a Business Associate Agreement. Additionally, the professional did
not meet standard of care because the defendants failed to protect highly sensitive data, did
not have adequate monitoring measures in place to detect unauthorized account activity,
and then delayed sending notification letters.
The lawsuit was tried in a civil court of the U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas,
Dallas Division. The HCO alleged three violations of the HIPAA Rules, which is a failure to
ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health
information, a failure to protect against reasonably anticipated threats to the security of
ePHI, and a failure to protect against anticipated uses and disclosures of ePHI not permitted
under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The lawsuit alleges negligence, negligence per se, invasion of
privacy, unjust enrichment, and violations of the California Confidentiality of Medical
Information Act, California Consumer Records Act, and California Unfair Competition
Law. The lawsuit seeks class action status, a jury trial, declaratory and other equitable relief,
injunctive relief, compensatory, exemplary, punitive damages, and statutory damages, and
attorneys’ fees and legal costs.
The organization should be alleged criminal charges because they expose the plaintiffs’
confidential information to identity thief; which is considered a major crime.
Alder, S. (2023, April 18). Lawsuit Filed Against Conifer and Tenet Healthcare Over Email
Account Breach. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from https://www.hipaajournal.com/lawsuit -filedagainst-conifer-tenet-healthcare-over-email-account-breach
***REPLY TO BOTH – SIMPLE REPLY***
From Folasade: Great discussion. The case falls under federal laws, 22 U.S. Code § 2702 Malpractice protection. Nurses do all they can to ensure that they give the best care for their
patients. In some cases, they could face accusations of malpractice (Mello et al., 2020).
Mistakes and errors could happen during busy times such as during the pandemic when the
demand for nurses was high due to an overwhelming number of patients. Burnout could lead
to making errors during care delivery. Literature reports that most of the malpractice in
America shows most complaints that are categorized as insufficient bedside skills such as
drug administration, monitoring, and clinical, assessments. Proper documentation could lead
to better care through accurate diagnosis and to arrive at best treatment options.
References
Mello, M. M., Frakes, M. D., Blumenkranz, E., & Studdert, D. M. (2020). Malpractice Liability
and Health Care Quality: A Review. JAMA, 323(4), 352–366.
https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.21411
From Vanessa: I am curious exactly what led the nurse to administering the wrong medication.
I am wondering if there were any fail safes such as pharmacy verification or scanning in the
medication to the MAR. I know when I administer medications, I am required to scan the
patients band which goes into the MAR and the computer will notify me if the medication is
incorrect or not for this patient. I am also curious on what you mean she was not allowed to
give the medication? I know certain groups of people within nursing are allowed to give
certain medications due to ACLS credentials. Personally, on my unit, we are not allowed to
administer any IV blood pressure medications because we are not a critical care unit. If a
physician orders this medication, they are required to send the patient to a critical care unit
such as the progressive care unit. Nurses must remember that their licenses are just as much
at risk as a physicians because they also have policies and procedures to prevent medication
errors. As nurses, we must also remember that anything that we document can be used i n a
legal court.
Thanks for your information!
Vanessa A.
Reply

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