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Honolulu Hawaii Sexual Abuse Law Blog

Nurses: Protect yourself from a medical malpractice lawsuit

Medical malpractice constitutes a serious offense, yet most cases occur by complete accident. Whether a court finds you negligent depends entirely on the circumstances of the potential injury of a patient.

To protect yourself from lengthy medical malpractice proceedings, the risk of losing your license and the potential of injury to a patient, it proves essential to follow necessary steps to ensure your job security in your hospital or clinic.

Study finds doctor burnout leads to medical mistakes

A new study has found that over half of doctors in Hawaii and the rest of the United States are suffering from workplace burnout. Unfortunately, this makes them more likely to commit medical errors. The study was published July 9 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

For the study, almost 6,700 doctors were surveyed on a number of professional issues, including medical errors, symptoms of workplace burnout, workplace safety, depression, fatigue and suicidal thoughts. Over 10 percent of the respondents said they had made at least one notable medical mistake in the three months prior to the survey. Furthermore, the authors of the study found that doctors who were experiencing burnout symptoms were at twice the risk of committing a medical error than those who were not.

NPR report uncovers abuse of the disabled

Individuals in Hawaii and throughout the country who have intellectual disabilities are more likely to experience sexual assault according to an NPR report. The report cited government statistics that found that they are assaulted at a rate seven times higher than people who are not disabled. However, changes are being made at the state level to help the disabled get justice. For example, an initiative in California would have provided more funds to prosecute these types of sexual assault cases.

In Pennsylvania, legislation would allow for testimony to be taken outside of court to make the process easier for the victims. In Massachusetts, a proposed registry would keep track of caregivers who engage in sexual assault or other abuse. The names of these people would be added even if they were not currently the subject of legal action. One reason why abuse is not always reported is because disabled individuals don't even know that they are being abused.

Kia car owners await instructions after air bag defect recall

Owners of some Kia vehicles in Hawaii are waiting for the Korean automobile manufacturer to determine how to fix faulty airbag systems that have prompted a recall. Shortly after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated deaths caused by airbag failures in certain Kia models, the company issued a recall of over 500,000 vehicles in the United States.

An electronic glitch appears to be stopping airbags from deploying during an accident. The issue came to light after six accidents produced four fatalities and injured six people. The Kia models currently under recall are the Fortes for years 2010 through 2013, the Optima for years 2011 through 2013 and the Optima Hybrid and Sedona for 2011 and 2012. Additionally, Hyundai, an affiliate of Kia, cited the same airbag issue when recalling 425,000 Sonatas. The German manufacturer of the airbags, ZF Friedrichshafen, has been cooperating with regulators during the investigation.

Healthcare organizations petition Congress about data

In a letter sent to Congress on May 9, three large healthcare organizations, including the AMA and American Health Information Management Association, petitioned representatives to aid the private sector in adopting safe and secure electronic exchange of health information. Specifically, these stakeholders are urging Congress to include language in appropriations deals for health, education, labor and other departments to deal with costly patient matching problems arising from electronic record errors.

Problems with patient identification and data matching can lead to a wide range of problems, including lost diagnoses, incorrect patient orders, and even mixed up surgery sites. As more providers exchange data without a proper security strategy in place, the potential for making errors increases. In addition, duplicate patient records can increase overall costs and skew analysis of systemic data.

How to talk to survivors about sexual abuse

When you hear a loved one has experienced sexual abuse it can be difficult to know what to do. There aren’t any easy answers and the idea of saying the wrong thing can be terrifying.

You want to comfort them and provide support when they need it, but knowing what to say is a difficult proposition.

Rideshare companies make changes to user policies

Hawaii residents who use Uber or Lyft can take sexual harassment or assault complaints to court instead of to arbitration. The two companies are taking forced arbitration clauses off their user agreements, and Uber says that this is being done for the sake of transparency. It also said that the change will apply to drivers and other employees as well as riders.

Lyft said in a statement that it agreed with the changes that Uber had made and decided to follow its lead. Changes made to its user agreement will also apply to employees and drivers in addition to passengers. Forced arbitration has become a major issue throughout the nation as the Me Too movement has gained prominence. While both Lyft and Uber have had complaints about sexual harassment, Uber's issues have been more pronounced.

Mobile apps could improve diagnostic accuracy

Mobile health applications may help Hawaii doctors make more accurate medical diagnoses, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The study was conducted by researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the authors of the study, physician-focused apps are becoming more common in the health care industry, but no research had been done to determine their effectiveness. To address the problem, researchers developed a method to evaluate the CDC's PTT Advisor app, which is designed to help doctors make better diagnostic and testing decisions when assessing patients for bleeding and coagulation disorders.

Nurse practitioners and medical malpractice

One of the many types of healthcare professionals in Hawaii and the rest of the country who can be sued for malpractice is the nurse practitioner. Any failure of a nurse practitioner to remain within their scope of practice results in liability. However, doctors can take certain steps to limit the number of malpractice claims filed against the nurse practitioners who work in their practice.

According to a study conducted by the largest doctor-owned medical malpractice insurance company in the nation, nurse practitioners face almost the same type of liability risks as primary care physicians. The study was based on the review of nearly 1,500 claims that had been filed from 2011 to 2016 against nurse practitioners as well as internal medicine and family medicine physicians. The desire to determine if nurse practitioners have special risk management concerns was spurred by the realization that they are expected to account for almost 33 percent of the family practice workforce within the next decade.

5 warning signs that a child has experienced sexual abuse

As parents, we want to do everything in our power to protect our children from the dangers in today's society. But sometimes, it can be very difficult to see when something is even wrong - let alone find out what happened to cause it.

This is especially true when children experience sexual harassment or abuse. Today's youth typically hide their emotions and the truth from adults, but as a parent there are a number of signs that may give you a hint that your child has been hurt.

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