Most healthcare providers go into the field out of a keen desire to help others, even while they understand that medicine is a business. Still, “risk management” is not a term that one often hears at medical school. Yet, it’s an essential practice for all healthcare providers, given the unfortunate likelihood of being served with a medical malpractice complaint at least once during a career. Although having healthcare liability insurance is absolutely essential, it doesn’t protect physicians from the emotional burden that a lawsuit can inflict. After you visit a malpractice insurance agency near Palm Beach Gardens to obtain affordable malpractice insurance, take some time to consider ways of reducing your risk of a lawsuit.
Ensure Informed Consent
One way that you can reduce the risk of having to fall back on your healthcare liability insurance policy is by prioritizing each patient’s informed consent . This is particularly true of patients who are anticipating a medical procedure, whether it be brain surgery or the insertion of an IUD. Remember that there are exceptions to the standard guidelines for informed consent. If your patient is a minor, mentally disabled, or otherwise does not have decision-making capacity, you must obtain informed consent from the individual’s legal guardian or proxy.
Follow Current Developments
Healthcare liability insurance companies often encounter claims made against a physician who has allegedly been negligent for failing to keep up with the latest medical research, techniques, and approaches for disease management. It’s simply impossible for healthcare providers to stay current in all areas of medicine. However, when you do have the time, you should brush up on major industry changes, particularly those that apply to your specialty.
Follow-up is another area that is rife with the potential for disputes. It’s not uncommon for a patient to be referred for imaging scans or other tests, and then for the results to be overlooked. In some cases, your office might not even receive the results at all or the patient may fail to report to the clinic for testing. Implement an effective system in your office that tracks follow-up requirements so that omissions can be detected promptly. Likewise, establish a reminder system when referring patients to specialists. If reports are not received by a certain date, your office will need to contact the specialist.
Many healthcare providers dread the day they might receive a notice of misrepresentation from a disgruntled patient’s attorney. It’s essential to have healthcare liability insurance in Palm Beach. However, while affordable malpractice insurance such as medical staffing insurance protects you from liability in the event of a lawsuit , the overall costs of medical malpractice to the U.S. economy are staggering.
When you watch this video from CNN, you’ll hear two experts debating the merits of medical malpractice caps and discussing the pitfalls of defensive medicine. While medical malpractice payouts equal approximately $1.4 billion each year, defensive medicine has been shown to cost the U.S. economy far more in unnecessary medical expenditures. This video serves as a good reminder of the importance of regularly reviewing your healthcare liability insurance policy to ensure adequate coverage.