Wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient errors (WSPEs) continue to occur at an unreasonably high frequency as reflected in our reported claims. This is especially true for spinal surgeries. The causes can often be traced back to nonadherence to the Universal Protocol, erroneous site markings, and/or failure to perform a “timeout” or checklist. Some providers apparently believe, “this would never happen to me,” or “I would never make such an error.” Unfortunately, they often discover that anyone can find themselves the target of a malpractice claim as a result of this type of mistake, and as pointed out in an earlier article, few medical errors are as indefensible as WSPEs.
Jeffrey A. Woods is the Director of Risk Education in the Risk Education and Evaluation Services Department at SVMIC. Jeff received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee Martin and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Following graduation, he practiced law in Knoxville for almost 15 years, advising physicians and healthcare providers and defending them in malpractice claims. He is licensed to practice in Tennessee and all Federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association.
Jeff joined SVMIC in 2003 and was a Senior Claims Attorney until 2015 when he transferred to his current position.
The contents of The Sentinel are intended for educational/informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Policyholders are urged to consult with their personal attorney for legal advice, as specific legal requirements may vary from state to state and/or change over time.
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