Tips For Avoiding Malpractice
Malpractice has been in the news lately because of the rising costs in malpractice insurance for doctors. Some doctors have even had to close their practices due to this issue. For doctors trying to make it without running into malpractice problems it can be frustrating. However, there are some methods that can help to prevent malpractice problems.
Many doctors follow a process called SOAP. This process outlines simple steps to ensure the patient is fully aware of their situation and that the doctor covers all points necessary. There are some additions to the SOAP procedure that can help to further give the doctor and patient some security. The following list explains some simple steps a doctor can take to make the patient feel more comfortable and reduce the chance of a malpractice suit.
- Include the patient in all decision making. Doctors need to fully explain all options, outcomes and risks to patients.
- Keep clear and complete documentation. Many times documentation is a key element to malpractice suits. Keeping clear and complete documentation may help to save a doctor when in court.
- Double check important information. This is especially true when the patients condition is unclear. Checking and re-checking things like vital signs and keeping them documented will help the doctor treat the patient better.
- Protect everyone during a sensitive exam. Always have an assistant present when conducting a breast or genital exam. Have the assistant note in the documentation that he or she was present during the whole exam.
- Clearly state opinions from facts. Patients should always understand the difference between facts and opinions when making statements about diagnosis, etc.
- Make sure patients clearly understand about medications. Patients should know when and how to take medications prescribed as well as the name of the medication. This helps avoid many problems.
- Spend time with patients. Do not rush through exams and be ready to answer any question the patient may have.
These suggestions are just some of the ways to help avoid malpractice or if malpractice occurs to help get through the following matters. Malpractice is not good for anyone. Doctors pay and patients pay due to malpractice suits. Avoiding malpractice is in everyone?s best interest. Taking every possible step to ensure patients get the best medical care and feel comfortable is the best way to avoid malpractice problems.
About the Author: Stephen Kreutzer is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides information on malpractice at Malpractice Help.