Every year malpractice claims cost the health care industry billions of dollars. Many physicians may already know some of the more obvious ways to avoid a medical malpractice lawsuit, however we thought we’d give you a few tips you may not have considered that can help reduce your chances of a malpractice claim.
- Personalize your relationship with the patient. Common consideration and courtesy go a long way as a physician. It is very important that physicians relate well to and have a positive, caring relationship with their patients. Example: If a doctor comes in 45 minutes late to an appointment and doesn’t respect the patient’s time or feelings, the patient is liable to leave annoyed, with a negative opinion of the doctor. If a negative relationship is established the patient is not likely to return. People are less likely to sue a physician who is respectful of their time and relationship if something goes wrong.
- Ensure your staff is educated on written policies and putting them into practice. It is important that your staff is aware of, follows, and documents best practices and protocol. An educated team behind good leadership with a positive attitude can make all of the difference in the patient’s experience and can make a lasting impression.
- Be aware of electronic health record risks. Mistakes can be made on when inputing information into a computer system, so it is important for physicians and staff to always be double checking their work to avoid mistakes. Additionally, lack of familiarity with the regulations surrounding electronic health records and PHI can mean that a physician is creating liability for herself without even realizing it. Continuing education in the realm of patient privacy and electronic health records is essential.
- Achieve a patient-centered informed consent. You can do this by doing the following:
- Invite questions by the patient
- Allow patients to discuss and express concerns
- Use visual aids
- Use clear, easy and open communication
- Have a support person take part in discussions if possible
- Lean on clinical tools and programs that are offered through your medical malpractice insurance company. There are many resources available on the internet and elsewhere that can keep you informed and on top of things in terms of risk management. It is also possible to find a partnership of leaders in the industry which offer meetings and seminars to keep physicians up-to-date with current ways to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits.
These are a few of the ways that physicians can help avoid lawsuits. As laws and technology change, it is essential to stay informed and educated about changes in the industry while avoiding any potential risks. eQuoteMD is here to help in any way we can. We want to be a resource for you and your staff. If you are unsatisfied with your current malpractice situation, or if you simply want to compare rates, get a free quote or consultation from one of our trusted healthcare professionals today.