An experiential learning exercise shows how the legal process affects health care professionals.
Critical care professionals and health care organizations recognize that failure to continually improve patient safety exposes critical care providers and their organizations to significant financial and human loss. For example,
Hospitals pay claims in 50% of court cases brought, and independently contracted physicians pay in 30% of cases.11 Although nurses and other critical care professionals may be sued separately from their hospital employer, claims paid by hospitals include payments because of the negligence of their employees such as nurses, respiratory therapists, and other health care providers. Research on jury verdicts indicates that the median plaintiff award against hospitals and their employed health care providers is about $500000.11
Health care organizations have become more aggressive with a variety of new protocols to reduce hospital errors. These new...