Statement from St. Luke’s regarding Dr. Stefan KonasiewiczPatient safety is a top priority for St. Luke’s and we take quality assurance very seriously. St. Luke’s consistently meets regulatory requirements. We score high in patient safety and quality measurements, including AHRQ (Agency for Health Care Quality & Research) and statewide patient safety initiatives.
Patient safety is a top priority for St. Luke’s and we take quality assurance very seriously. St. Luke’s consistently meets regulatory requirements. We score high in patient safety and quality measurements, including AHRQ (Agency for Health Care Quality & Research) and statewide patient safety initiatives.
St. Luke’s has a rigorous Quality Assurance program in place and will always look into any adverse outcome involving a physician or provider rendering care in our facilities. St. Luke’s continuously engages in peer review processes to ensure that patients and their loved ones are cared for to the best of our ability. We are prohibited by Minnesota state law from disclosing more information about those peer reviews, but what we can say is that they are routinely done and actions are taken as necessary.
We reject the premise that Dr. Konasiewicz did not provide excellent neurosurgical care during his time at St. Luke’s. To the contrary: Dr. Konasiewicz performed thousands of difficult and life-saving surgeries on thousands of patients throughout our region. Many people are alive and walking today because of the outstanding care and skill of Dr. Konasiewicz.
Neurosurgery is one of the most complex and high-risk specialties in the practice of medicine and requires extraordinary training. It is a specialty fraught with unavoidable risk of complications. Adverse outcomes do happen on occasion and they are not necessarily the result of negligence or recklessness by the physician. Patients are carefully explained these risks in advance of the surgery or procedure and they must consent to undertake the risk.
Dr. Konasiewicz’s litigation history over his career is not worse than the average of other neurosurgeons’ experience in the region or in the country. While Dr. Konasiewicz has, like most neurosurgeons, been sued on occasion, he has never received a litigation judgment against him. In fact, in the only case against Dr. Konasiewicz that has gone to trial, the jury found that he did not commit malpractice and acted within the standard for neurosurgeons.
Our hearts, of course, go out to Dr. Konasiewicz’s patients and families that have experienced a complication in their condition while at St. Luke’s. We understand the pain and loss those experiences cause to the individuals involved. For them, notions of statistics and risk are of little consolation as they deal with the reality of their situation. We feel deep compassion for these patients and families, but we also know that neither St. Luke’s nor Dr. Konasiewicz caused these outcomes as a result of negligent or reckless care.