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How Prevalent Are Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis Medical Errors?

Sackstein-Sackstein-Lee-LLP-Author: Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

What Circumstances Indicate Misdiagnosis or a Failure to Diagnose?

Unfortunately the failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis are common problems and have become even more so since medical practice has become very specialized. Today there are far more names for medical conditions and diseases than ever before along with a plethora of available treatments.

An article appeared in the Washington Post in 2013 entitled “Misdiagnosis is more common than drug errors or wrong-site surgery.“ Studies in the article stressed the degree and extent of damage that misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose have caused for patients.

Various reports revealed the following statistics:

  • Safety experts reported that missed, incorrect and delayed diagnoses have likely affected 10 to 20 percent of medical cases
  • Out of 583 diagnostic mistakes reported, 28 percent were life threatening, or resulted in permanent disability or death
  • Fatal diagnostic errors in U.S. intensive care units equaled the 40,500 deaths resulting annually from breast cancer
  • Errors often involved common diseases such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections
  • Of the pneumonia and urinary tract infection errors, 87 percent had the potential of causing severe harm and inevitable death

An associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine stated that misdiagnosis “happens all the time.” It is a “hidden part of the iceberg of medical errors.”

What Are Some Underlying Causes of Wrong or Missing Diagnosis?

While each case is different, there are some common errors that are repeated often enough to form a pattern.

In some cases the practitioner simply fails to follow up on test results.

Some medical surroundings are more predisposed for error, such as emergency rooms. ER doctors do not know the patients; they have not followed their medical history the way a family physician has. In the ER interruptions are common along with time constraints to deal with the problem.

In addition to hospitals, primary care doctors are also at risk for diagnostic errors. Sometimes doctors fail to broaden the differential diagnosis. In other words, they do not consider a number of underlying reasons that could cause a set of symptoms.

Failure to study and analyze diagnostic errors has made it an area that is lacking information for correction. Some medical leaders have pointed to the fact that the healthcare system has become increasingly fragmented and medicine as a field has become increasingly complex. High-tech tests are replacing doctor’s skills in performing hands-on diagnosis.

Do You Have Questions About Medical Malpractice?

Our attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP are glad to answer your questions.

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BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: GET THE RAISE YOU DESERVE

Author: Christopher L.Van De WaterChristopher L. Van De Water, Esq.

How to ask for and get the raise you deserve

The holidays are a time of financial giving, but that doesn’t mean all companies will be giving out  bonuses, or even raises for that matter.

According to recent surveys by several finance and staffing firms, while monetary holiday bonuses are expected to increase in value this year, bonuses, overall, are becoming more scarce. In a poll of 500 U.S. companies, 63 percent of hiring managers say their company plans to give employees a bonus, the survey notes. That’s down from 75 percent in 2017.

Whether or not you end up among the growing number of workers who won’t get a bonus this year, your holidays can still be happy. Here are five effective steps to take to ask for, and get, a raise:

Do your research and come prepared

First things first: If you want a raise, you’ll have to do your homework. Set realistic expectations about what your salary increase might look like and understand why you deserve it.

To gauge your market value, try using a salary calculator. These tools can offer insight by measuring your pay against your experience and position and comparing it to the wages of your peers across the country. Keep in mind, though, the estimates rely on self-reported numbers and can’t take into account your specific circumstances.

Document your achievements and noteworthy projects

Start by identifying any tasks you’ve taken charge of that were unanticipated when you began the job or any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on.

If you’ve received notable recognition or awards, note that too. This could help your manager better understand the value of your work and your importance to the team.

Find the right time to approach your manager

Be sure you ask for a raise at the right time, not just because you need the money or because “you just heard the guy in the next cubicle is making $5,000 more than you,” bestselling author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch says.

According to a LinkedIn report, January is one of the top months when employers give out raises. Thus, preparing your pitch in December could be a smart move.

Initiate the dialogue

Once you’ve done your research, you can initiate a conversation with your manager. Instead of bringing up the issue in passing, schedule a formal meeting and come ready to break down exactly  why you deserve that raise!

Be sure to focus on why you deserve it, not just why you need it.
Keep in mind, dollars and cents aren’t the only possible form of compensation. Ask about perks and benefits such stock options, a more flexible schedule, including telecommuting.

Finally, show your appreciation

Clearly assert why you deserve a raise but don’t get pushy. If your boss doesn’t feel you deserve a raise yet, don’t get mad. Ask what steps you can take to earn one.

If there just isn’t room in the budget to pay you more at the moment, make clear that you understand and, again, could be willing to talk about other kinds of perks and compensation. This could make the conversation more collaborative and open the door for a follow-up soon.

Takeaway

Even if you don’t walk away with everything you want, odds are you’ll feel good about being assertive. Remember, lots of job seekers and employees are too anxious to try to negotiate, but those who ask for more are usually more successful.

Happy Holidays from the Van De Water Law Firm

Have You Suffered from a Catastrophic Injury?

Attorney-David-LewisAuthor: David R. Lewis & Associates

Why Is Legal Help Vital for Catastrophic Injuries?

People who suffer from catastrophic injuries are typically saddled with exorbitant medical costs, lost income and other financial hardships. However, if someone else was at fault for causing your injury, you may have legal grounds to recover compensation.

What is a catastrophic injury?

Catastrophic injury means “consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”(42 USCS § 3796b)

Such injuries are extremely severe. They often result in long-lasting medical conditions that require multiple surgeries, rehabilitation and other long-term treatment. The disability is permanent and in some cases also results in a shorter life expectancy. Aside from financial hardship, the emotional impact can be overwhelming.

What are some examples of catastrophic injuries?

Examples of catastrophic injuries often include:

* Burn injuries. Burn injuries can disrupt the proper functioning of other bodily systems. They can also result in severe disfigurement or scarring.

* Traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can significantly alter an individual’s quality of life, resulting in speech difficulties, impaired cognitive functioning or even partial or complete paralysis. The victim may end up in a coma for long periods of time or suffer permanent brain damage.

* Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can cause partial paralysis (paraplegia, which is paralysis from the waist down) or complete paralysis (quadriplegia, which is paralysis from the neck down).

* Fractures. There are varying degrees of severity of fractures. All fractures should be considered as catastrophic injuries.

* Neck injury. Spinal fracture or herniated discs can result in extreme pain and make it difficult to hold a job or function normally.

* Back injury. Back injuries that affect the spinal cord or nervous system can result in loss of bowel control or bladder control. It can also cause impotence.

* Amputations. Accidental loss of limb or severe injury that makes amputation necessary leaves a person in a disabled state.

* Eye injury. Partial or complete blindness due to injury is life changing and can be incapacitating.

* Organ damage. Impact during an accident can injure internal organs, such as the spleen, liver, kidneys, liver, pancreas, colon and bladder. Depending on the extent of damage, it can impair the functioning of a number of bodily systems, diminish quality of life and in some cases eventually result in death.

Have you suffered from a catastrophic injury?

When your injuries are catastrophic and you believe another party was at fault, consult with an attorney as soon as possible and find out about your legal rights to recover compensation. The Law Offices of David R. Lewis offers a free consultation to discuss your injury and determine the prospects of suing for damages.

Employers: Do You Have Your Sexual Harassment Training in Place?

What Does the New Sexual Harassment Training Require?

Author: Stephen D. Hans & Associates

By now, hopefully many employers in New York have become aware of the new sexual harassment training laws that went into effect on October 9, 2018.  Under the new law, all New York employers, no matter how many employees you have, are required under State law to establish a sexual harassment training policy.

New York State has published a tool kit that explains the guidelines employers must follow. Some employers already had established sexual harassment policies prior to the new law. Others may not have any sexual harassment policy in place. In either case, you must comply with the government’s new requirements.

If you’re uncertain about whether your policy is compliant or not, it is wise to consult with an experienced employment defense attorney. The probability is high that most employers are missing parts of the new law in their policies.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SMALL BUSINESS AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual Harassment Training Tool Kit Guidelines

A checklist for sexual harassment training must meet (or it can exceed) the following minimum training standards. Training must:

  • “Be Interactive (see the model training guidance document for specific recommendations);
  • Include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights;
  • Include examples of unlawful sexual harassment;
  • Include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual
  • harassment and remedies available to targets of sexual harassment;
  • Include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints; and
  • Include information addressing conduct by supervisors and additional responsibilities for supervisors.”

It is common have questions about the new guidelines and how to apply them. The specific details of what some of the minimum training standards require are not clear to many employers.

Stephen Hans & Associates can answer your questions and help you understand exactly what is required and how to even exceed the minimum standards. We offer seasoned legal guidance based on decades of employment law defense experience.

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Sexual Harassment Protest: Google Walkout

Thousands of Employees Worldwide Protest Google’s Handling of Sexual Harassment

The Google Walkout on November 1, 2018 in protest of sexual harassment was a worldwide event. The largest gathering of protesters, numbering in the thousands, occurred in Silicon Valley, California where Google Headquarters is located.

In addition, The New York Times reported that workers protested internationally in Singapore, Hyderabad, Berlin, Zurich, London, Chicago and Seattle, to name a few locations. New York also had a large number of protesters. An estimated 3,000 people gathered to protest in a city park.

Since the #Metoo movement began a year ago, sexual harassment has topped the list in anti-discrimination movements. A number of states have passed stricter laws to prohibit sexual harassment, and New York has passed the most stringent sexual harassment training laws in the nation.

Office Sexual Harrassment

What Was the Main Protest Focus in the Google Walkout?

The New York Times published an article on Oct 25, 2018 about the resignation of the creator of Android software, Andy Rubin in 2014. At that time, he left Google with a $90 million exit package and no public disclosure of sexual misconduct.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai and Larry Page, co-founder of Google and the chief executive of the parent company, Alphabet issued apologies. According to a Wall Street Journal article on the walkout, Pichai stated that Google no longer makes payouts to employees who are dismissed due to sexual harassment. He also stated, “Moments like this show we didn’t always get it right. We are listening to employees, which is why today is important.”

Another point of contention among the protesters was Google’s mandatory arbitration requirement in employee contracts. Employees who were protesting submitted a letter to the company that stated they wanted Google to remove mandatory arbitration and allow sexual harassment lawsuits, the way the Microsoft Co. and Uber had done during the past year.

A letter to the CEO also requested that the board of directors include an employee representative and that Google’s Chief Diversity Officer report directly to the CEO.

Google has been known for its open relationship with employees where debate is encouraged and employees enjoy many perks that come with their jobs.

Do You Have Questions about Employment Law?

Having anti-sexual harassment policies in place has become vitally important for employers in many different industries and countries around the world.

If you have questions, our attorneys at Stephen Hans & Associates are glad to advise regarding your concerns.