Medical malpractice is costly. Each year, over 225,000 Americans die as a result of errors or negligence while another 1.5 million individuals are injured or harmed. The financial burden is also staggering, with an estimated $55 billion price tag, which accounts for 2.4 percent of the annual cost of healthcare.
This two-part series begins with a discussion of negligence and each of its four components. Delegation is also explored as the use of unlicensed assistive personnel may put the nurse at risk as she is responsible for their actions or lack thereof. Examples of common forms of negligence are also featured. In addition, strategies nurses can use to prevent negligence from occurring are offered. Finally, several vignettes are presented in which the viewer is asked to identify if negligence has occurred, and if so, how it could have been avoided.