Sentinel Events

During the course of events in any facility, there are some unavoidable untoward events that occur. Although anything that centers on the patient should be documented, things like incident reports are never part of the chart. Sometimes, supervisors will ask staff to write paragraphs of a particular event and submit it to them. This is a dangerous practice since this can become “discoverable evidence” at some time later should the case got to litigation. Any such documentation should be turned over to the hospital risk management to allow them to deal with it, and not hidden by individual staff members. Any information used during litigation should be readily accessible by the individuals involved prior to trial and memorized before testifying in a court of law. References Lynch, Virginia A. and Duval, Janet Barber. (2006). Forensic Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby

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