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Briefly describe the possible malpractice issue for the physician.

Scenario: The IT department has just notified you of a computer security violation.  During their database audit, they found a nurse employee who had accessed her own electronic medical record 27 times the past 3 months to review her labs and dictations for her chronic condition.  Sometimes she accessed the record herself, and sometimes she had other subordinate co-workers access her record.

The facility has strict rules concerning computer security violations.  Administration wants her and any employee who assisted her terminated immediately.  The nurse involved argues that it is not a violation: because she only accessed her own records and since she owns her medical records she did not violate any security rules.

DQ1: Respond to the following question: Has the nurse violated any security rules? Be specific. Then determine if the employee and/or her subordinate should be terminated. Defend your response.

Discussion Question #2

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Scenario: A surgeon who has been on call comes into the ED to evaluate a young boy with a traumatic bone break that requires surgical intervention.  A unit clerk working at the ED notices the surgeon smells of alcohol when the surgeon is standing near the clerk’s desk making a call to the Operating Room to arrange an immediate surgery.

DQ2: Briefly describe the possible malpractice issue for the physician. As a Risk Manager: Describe the steps you would want the clerk to take in this situation.   If the clerk does not come forward and there is a negative outcome for the surgery how should the Risk Manager handle the situation and address the physician and clerk.

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