Dr. Richardson is a plastic surgeon who performs an elective tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery on Jennifer

Dr. Richardson is a plastic surgeon who performs an elective tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery on Jennifer

Barrett. Ms. Barrett later complained to Dr. Richardson about abdominal pain after the surgery. Dr. Richardson examined the patient and dismissed her complaints as not credible due to being constipated following the surgery. Dr. Richardson electively withdraws from the case after the post-operative period. Ms. Barrett is still in pain and seeks a second opinion from another plastic surgeon several weeks later. She is examined by Dr. Morgan who is of the professional opinion that Ms. Barrett developed a seroma, which is a known complication of the surgery; however, the delay in treatment has exacerbated the condition. Ms. Barrett sees an attorney about a possible lawsuit against Dr. Richardson.

Describe, in your own words, the specific liability theories that support (or do not warrant) a lawsuit in this case and why. What specific medical record content might be used to evaluate both surgeon’s and their actions? Are there any organizational policies and/or procedures that may be examined as well? If you were the HIM Director in Dr. Richardson’s office, how would you handle a potential lawsuit?

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