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Preventing Lawsuits in Long-Term Care: Strategies for Nurses

presented by Cheryl Lehman, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, CRRN and Amy Magnano, JD

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Cheryl Lehman receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Cheryl Lehman has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 40 Minutes

This course gives students an overview of the legal processes related to lawsuits and how this impacts the licensed nurse. Examples of legal cases concerning nurses are presented. Participants will learn what kinds of errors and complaints often end in legal action being brought against the nurse, and how a case proceeds. A detailed review of the steps involved in preventing legal action will be reviewed. This course is appropriate for licensed nurses working in any setting, but particularly targets those in long term care. This course is appropriate for licensed nurses working in any setting, but particularly targets those in rehabilitation, long term care and home health.

Meet Your Instructors

Cheryl Lehman, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, CRRN

Dr. Cheryl Lehman has been a registered nurse since graduating from the Decatur Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1978. Since that time, she earned a BSN from Maryville University-St. Louis in 1990; an MSN in Adult Health Nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston in the Clinical Nurse Specialist role…

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Amy Magnano, JD

Amy represents health care providers and health care facilities in medical liability litigation, complex health care litigation, and licensing and disciplinary litigation. She also represents clients on a wide range of regulatory matters. As part of this latter focus, Amy counsels legal professionals, health care systems and physician groups on compliance with the HIPAA and…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Situations That May Result in Lawsuits

Long-term care nurses need to recognize the types of clinical errors and patient situations that may lead to legal action. This chapter reviews this topic from the discussion of legal cases in which nurses have been sued. Key factors that triggered real-life cases are included.

2. How to Prevent a Lawsuit Using the Nursing Process

Competent application of the nursing process in patient care can help prevent a lawsuit – and if a lawsuit is filed, the nursing process can help defend the nurse. Proper patient assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, documentation and consultation can also build support for the nurse-as-defendant, lessening the likelihood of poor outcomes for the nurse who is being sued.

3. What Happens in a Legal Case and How Do I Respond?

Long-term care nurses need be prepared for the unlikely event that a lawsuit is filed that names them as defendant in a medical malpractice case. This chapter briefly reviews how a case proceeds, from filing of the complaint to going to court. The best ways for the nurse to respond to being named as a defendant in a medical malpractice suit are also discussed by a practicing attorney and panel. Real-life case scenarios are provided.

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