Medical Malpractice: Things You Can Do To Avoid A Lawsuit
When you go into the medical profession, you have a desire to help other people. However, medicine is still a business at the end of the day, and you have to make every effort to protect yourself. Risk management is important, but not always something you learn about in school. Sadly, many medical professionals face malpractice lawsuits at some point in their careers, so you need to be sure to have medical malpractice insurance. The right coverage can save you a lot of time, money, and heartache. Still, the best protection is avoiding a malpractice claim in the first place. Here are some things you can do to minimize your risk of a malpractice suit.
Be Sure to Have Informed Consent
One good way to avoid the possibility of a medical malpractice lawsuit is to provide patients with informed consent. You need to especially prioritize this with any patients who are undergoing, or will soon undergo, a medical procedure, no matter how minor the procedure may seem. No matter if you are doing a quick laparoscopic procedure that will last only minutes, informed consent is crucial. There are some exceptions to the informed consent standard guidelines. If the patient is mentally challenged, a minor, or cannot make his or her own decisions, you have to get informed consent from the person's guardian.
Stay Updated with Current Research
You may face a claim that alleges that you did not try a new procedure or failed to utilize newfound or trending research when providing treatment. A patient could argue that he or she could have suffered less had you used a newer less invasive technique. You could also face legal trouble if you are not current on the legal issues surrounding your area of medical practice. While it is difficult to stay up to date in every facet of medicine, you should make an effort to keep up with the trends in your area of practice.
Keep Up with Your Communication with Your Patients
It is not unusual to refer a patient for follow up testing, whether it is an MRI or x-rays. What you do not want to do is fail to follow up with the results. This is a problem for some medical professionals, often through no fault of their own. In some instances, your practice may not get the results back at all. The patient may not even go to the test. Either way, it is important that you follow up with all outside testing that you order. The best way to do this is to create a system that will effectively keep up with each patient's ordered testing. You can then follow up with the test facility to ensure you get the results in. You can also get in touch with the patient if it appears he or she did not have the testing done. You are then protected because you did everything on your part to ensure the patient was aware of what he or she needed on the path to healing.
If you have any questions about medical malpractice insurance, be sure to get in touch with an agent right away to ensure you are protected.