Jan M. Kriebs, CNM, MSN, FACNM, is Assistant Professor and director of the midwifery practice at the University of Maryland. She is the coauthor of Varney's Midwifery and the Pocket Midwife. She currently serves as the Region IV representative on the ACNM Fellowship Board of Governors.
Trouble in the Office: Liability Issues in Ambulatory Care
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2005 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 50, Issue 6, pages 479–484, November-December 2005
How to Cite
Kriebs, J. M. (2005), Trouble in the Office: Liability Issues in Ambulatory Care. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 50: 479–484. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2005.07.004
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- informed consent;
- duty to recontact;
- failure to diagnose
Most clinicians are keenly aware of the liability risks associated with adverse birth outcomes for mother and/or infant. This level of awareness and concern also needs to extend to the day-to-day management of office practice. Clinicians who care for healthy women and their families may see abnormalities infrequently. The low yield of abnormal results means that close monitoring is essential to prevent overlooking the rare abnormal finding. This article focuses on three areas of liability risk for midwives and others who practice in the ambulatory setting: 1) inadequate tracking of test and referral results, 2) failure to diagnose, and 3) poor communication. Although none of these issues are limited to the ambulatory setting, only office practice is addressed in this article.