Presentation on recognizing the role of adhering to the standard of care to avoid

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  • Health care providers use standards of care to guide their practice.
  • Standards of care are the established practice accepted as correct within the health care sector.
  • All the providers are held to the standards of care, and the failure to provide competent care puts them at risk for malpractice.
  • It is crucial to receive updates of the prevailing evidence-based guidelines and also provide optimal care that minimizes the risk of liability.
  • The presentation regards the legal implications for failure if adherence to the standard of care, key elements of malpractice, and the comparison of malpractice policy options.

Legal Implications for failure to adhere to a standard of care

  • Standards of care in nursing help to recognize the trusted role played by nurses.
  • The failure to meet the accepted standards results in liability for negligence if it causes harm to the patient.
  • The nurse is accused of violating a standard of care in a negligence lawsuit, hence referred to as malpractice.


  • Nurses are held responsible if they administer medication inappropriately.
  • They are also liable for negligence lawsuit for failure to monitor the equipment, warning patients of the known harms, and failing to protect patients from danger.
  • The nurses are charged with negligence and failure to comply with the state rules thereby resulting in legal liability.
  • Patients may forward a personal injury lawsuit when the provider fails to comply with the nursing care standards.

The key elements of malpractice

  • Medical malpractices appear similar to medical negligence, but the difference lies in the knowledge of the two.
  • Medical malpractice is determined by a review of a chart to establish the deviations from the standard of care.
  • There are four major elements of malpractice as outlined;
  • Owed Duty
  • Breach of Duty
  • Damage
  • Cause

Elements Continued

An owed Duty

  • A malpractice may arise due to the owed duty to a patient by a health care practitioner mandated to take care of the patient.
  • There ought to be a doctor-patient relationship to ascertain the existence of duty.
  • There is an expected standard of quality of care regarding safety, adherence to quality guidelines, confidentiality, and proper documentation of the clinical details.
  • A violation of the owed duty is malpractice.


Breach of Duty

  • The healthcare practitioner with the duty of care for the patient may fail in his/her duty and not administer the level of care expected.
  • The quality of health care service provided ought to be similar to that of another professional in the same specialty and similar situation.
  • The breach of duty occurs when the agreement between the patient and the care provider is not followed. The practitioner may misread the laboratory results, or fail to account properly for the patient history.
  • Some of the malpractices seem like accidents but have consequences to the patient health.

Elements Continued


The malpractice occurs when the patient suffers from emotional or physical injury under the care of the health care practitioner.

Medical malpractice may result in a damage categorized as physical, emotional, financial, or other types.

The effect of the breach owed is an important consideration in identifying the damage caused.

Medical malpractice is a precursor to a lawsuit, and the patient seeks justice against the offenses caused by the care provider.

Elements continued

Cause of the malpractice

  • There requires being a solid proof that the breach of duty by the care practitioner caused the patient’s injury.
  • The malpractice occurs when the patient suffers from emotional or physical injury under the care of the health care practitioner.
  • The damage can be a new injury or an aggravation of an existing injury which in both cases involves a breach of duty.
  • A breach of duty is a series of related events that later hurt the patient resulting to medical malpractice.
  • Damage in the form of an injury means that there was a misdiagnosis or wrong prescription, and lack of proper testing leading to failed results.
  • An injury is a common cause in the determination of medical malpractices and crucial in the understanding of the elements of medical malpractice.

 Comparison of the differences in malpractice policy Options

  • Many physicians are worried about the possibility of being sued for medical malpractice in the cases where there lacks right malpractice policy.
  • It is important to have medical malpractice insurance with a good policy plan due to the existing variations in cost and coverage.
  • The insurers lack uniformity in the premium costs and base them on the physician’s specialty and geographic location of practice.


  • The policies are not created equal.
  • It is essential to look for one that covers all the medical procedures that one performs on an everyday basis.
  • Some insurers do not cover certain procedures, hence necessary to update them on the personalized plans.
  • The need to understand the malpractice policy options is crucial in the determination of the available options as either the claims made or the occurrence claims.


  • The occurrence policies provide coverage for the insured events that occur during the policy period despite the time that elapses before notification.
  • Occurrence policies are risky and often not offered for medical malpractice claims.
  • The claims-made policies offer coverage for the insured events that occur on or after the specified policy date.
  • The type of policy is inexpensive at the beginning of submitting the premiums, but changes as the policy mature.


  • The claims-made policies are the most available form of medical malpractice coverage.
  • The claims-made coverage has differences between the insurance carriers and depends on the reported claims.
  • The user of the claims-made policy ought to understand whether it guarantees the right to buy the “tail” coverage.
  • It insures against the claims reported after the original policy period ends for all the incidents that occurred while the policy was in effect.


  • Also important to consider is the processes and procedures in place since some policies have better methods of handling communications from physicians than others.
  • The claims-paying ability for the different insurance carriers depends on its financial strength.


  • It is important for practitioner nurses to adhere to the standards of care as a requirement for their practice.
  • A failure of compliance results to legal liabilities of malpractice, negligence, and breach of duty.
  • The major elements of malpractice are owed duty, breach of duty, damage, and a cause.
  • Health care practitioners ought to understand the existing differences in malpractice policy options to assist in their decision-making.


  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2016). National guideline clearinghouse.

Retrieved from

  • Buppert, C. (2015).Negligence and malpractice. In Nurse practitioner’s business practice and legal guide (5th ed.) (271-284). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
  • Stelmach, E. I. (2015). Dismissal of the noncompliant patient: Is this what we have come to? The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 11(7), 723-725.
  • Watson, E. (2014). Nursing malpractice: Costs, trends, and issues. Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting, 25(1), 26-31

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