. Identify and explain the four elements of proof necessary for a plaintiff to prove a Negligencecase. The four elements of proof necessary for negligence to be proved are Duty to protect, Failure to Exercise Reasonable Standard of Care, Proximate Cause and Actual Injury. In a health care setting, Staff and physicians have a duty to protect patients from foreseeable dangers that could lead to injury. They have a duty to make sure equipment is in good working order, so it does not lead to harm.
They also have a duty to take preventive measures which create a safer environment. For example, staff have a duty to prevent patients from accidental shock during the use of electronic treatment or diagnostic devices, by making sure they are properly grounded. The failure to exercise reasonable care is considered an act that a health care worker should be able to perform to prevent injury or address a specific immediate medial need, should the circumstances require such action. For example, an emergency room nurse should be trained in and know how to perform CPR.
The nurse may not be successful in every instance, but failing to receive proper training or to perform the procedure in the specified manner is failure to exercise reasonable care. Proximate cause is the connection between failing to exercise a reasonable standard of care and the circumstances that such failure may bring about. If a physician fails to revive a patient in cardiac arrest and treat it, the patient may die. However, there may be an underlying cause, such as drug overdose or a congenital heart condition, that lead to the patient’s death.
The determination must be made then, as to whether the physician’s actions or the drug overdose is the direct cause of death. Actual injury is the injury that is a direct result of the three elements above. If the physician fails to attempt to revive the patient or performs the procedures in the wrong manner, knowingly used equipment that was not in the best working order and as a result of his actions, directly lead to the cardiac arrest and the patient dies due to the three conditions, an actual injury exists. This is assuming there are no other underlying conditions that may have led to death. . Explain how the standard of care can be proven. To succeed in a professional liability suit a plaintiff must first prove the standard of care then show that the defendant breached that standard. This usually requires expert testimony, which normally comes from the defendant’s fellow practitioners because they know the standards, of practice best. Unlike lay witnesses, an expert witness id not limited to testifying about facts; he may express opinions about the nature and cause of a patient’s illness or injury.
Because of the need for expert testimony, proving malpractice can be difficult even if a valid case exists because the plaintiff cannot always find a qualified expert witness. Some believe that a “conspiracy of silence” among physicians makes them reluctant to testify against other members of the profession, and if a physician is not a party to the lawsuit, she cannot be forces to testify. Evidence other than expert opinion is admissible in some instances to prove negligence, however, and occasionally even the defendant physician may provide the needed expert testimony. . Explain the principle of “vicarious liability” (respondeat superior). A healthcare provider can be held liable for the negligence of others, even though he has not been personally negligent. This is called vicarious liability, and it is based on the principle of respondeat superior-let the superior respond for the negligence of agents or employees. Thus, physicians and other providers are responsible for the negligent acts of their nurses, paramedics, x-ray technicians, and other persons in their employ. 4.
Explain why a corporation is considered an “artificial person” under the law. Courts use a legal fiction of treating corporations as artificial persons in order to allow the law to apply to corporations as a whole. This concept actually began with ancient Rome, where a business was considered to be a single, non-human body made up of many people. In the United States, being treated as an artificial person means that corporations have many of the same duties, responsibilities and protections as real people. (ehow) 5.
Explain the functions and responsibilities of the governing board of a healthcare corporation Hospitals are important assets for many communities in the United States, working to provide access to quality care and to improve the health status of their community. It is vital for a hospital to perform effectively, to provide quality care, and to maintain a good reputation in the community it serves. The governing board of a health care corporation is responsible for the “clinical, operational and regulatory issues surrounding quality of care” (Callender,2004).
The clinical aspect of the responsibility refers to the care and treatment of patients in a competent manner that is most beneficial to the patient. Operational responsibility refers to the process that are used in providing care. These can include, but are not limited to, electronic records management systems, insurance billing processes, procedures for determining access to electronic record and communications systems used throughout facilities.
Operational responsibilities can also include the processes used to determine what equipment should be invested in and whether financial investments are justified. Regulatory responsibilities include ensuring the OSHA guidelines are followed in each department regarding storing handling andusing potentially hazardous chemicals, ensuring that staff in all departments are familiar with and practice reporting of all communicable diseases required to be reported to the CDC and that all facility policies are understood and followed by staff in all departments.
Reference Showalter, J. S. (2008). The law of healthcare administration (5th ed. ). Chicago: Health Administration Press. Magloff, L. Why Is a Corporation Considered and Artificial Person Under the Law?. eHow money Retrieved from http://www. ehow. com/about_6071333_corporation-artificial-person-under-law_. html Callender, A. (2004). Health Care quality: A source for health care Boards of Directors. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://oig. hhs. gov/fraud/docs/complianceguidance/CorporateResponsibilityFinal%209-4-07. pdf