When your medical office gets sued by a patient, there are many things that run across your mind. This may lead to emotional distress and worse still, it may affect your business. While most doctors would not like to be subject to a lawsuit of any kind, most of them make mistakes that may put their practice into question.
While preventing such instances would be ideal, when a legal issue arises, you need professional help. At Page Law there are experts who can help you deal with legal issues which may involve your medical office.
Here are some five ideas on how to prevent legal issues as a physician.
- Keep Communication Open
One of the reasons why patients sue is because of faulty communication between them and their doctors. To get the patient to trust you and open up about things like their medical history, you should put measures in place that actually encourage that.
Open communication will save you from a pending lawsuit. Most of the time, poor communication may lead to a poor medical outcome. It takes a good physician to explain the outcome to their patient. This may make them see what went wrong. It is also true that where there is open communication, a patient may be more forgiving of slight errors.
- Always Seek the Patient’s Consent
Some of the malpractice lawsuits in courts today are related with lack of consent. Some physicians end up performing medical procedures on patients without asking for their consent. To avoid a lawsuit, always ensure that the patient agrees to the procedure in question before you perform it. It is also advisable that you explain to them all the risks involved.
- Stay Abreast with Medical Standards
With technology, there are better ways of doing things, including diagnosing and treating patients. This makes it necessary for physicians to stay updated on the changes in medical practice. This is easily done by attending trainings on how to use newer and innovative medical technologies. Following current standards of medical practice will help you avoid legal turmoil in your medical office.
- Specialist Referrals
When a patient comes to you and you do not have the expertise to diagnose or treat their medical condition, it is very important to refer them to a specialist. It would be a blunder to diagnose and treat a condition which you are not familiar with. Where you are not experienced or you are unsure of what to prescribe or which procedure to perform, it is prudent to have an expert look at the matter altogether.
- Do Follow-Ups
Many medical malpractices are because of doctors not taking their time to follow up on a patient’s progress or medical history. This may be a problem brought about by the fact that some patients do not have a personal doctor who knows their medical history well. However, even when you get a new patient, make sure that you take time to know them. Ask questions about their family and medical past.