Do you have a medical practice? Every business has legal obligations as well as regulations that they need to follow and, rather than being any kind of exception, the medical industry is one where being aware of your responsibilities is more crucial than ever. Here are some of the ways that you need to ensure you’re being responsible and avoiding legal trouble when running your practice.
An accusation of malpractice is one that any medical professional can face during their career. Aside from providing the very best care possible, it is essential that you make sure you can prove the careful and considered care of patients, too. Lawyers such as Young Moore can help you put in place malpractice protection processes, but primarily, you need to make sure that you have strong record-keeping practices to show that you are always clear in communicating treatment options, potential outcomes, side-effects, and more.
Medical device use
More and more, doctors are relying on medical devices that can help provide treatment of patients both inside and outside of the practice. However, regulations around devices and warnings about faulty devices can keep this field of treatment changing regularly. As such, it’s important to follow the insight of experts like Tracy Eberly of Fang Consulting, who recommends working with providers who keep you current on medical device requirements. The sooner your provider keeps you updated, the sooner you can update your practices and patients.
Discrimination of patients
Laws around discrimination and protected individuals are constantly changing. It’s important to make sure you keep up with how to ensure ethical and fair treatment regarding people of color, LGBTQ patients, and others. By being proactive in seeking diversity training for your practice, you can make sure that you’re only compliant with legal regulations, but ahead of the changes in the law that the future might bring, too.
Failure to follow up
A more generalized mistake that leads to legal trouble is the process of following up on patients. As you have a duty of care to patients, it is recommended you take the time to follow up after any prescription, surgery, or treatment. Otherwise, if complications arise, you could be held partly liable for failing to make sure that your recommendations were working as you hoped. As such, it may be important to put in place automatic reminders for follow-ups for patients.
If you keep patients in practice, then it’s important to discharge them when the time is right. By discharging them prematurely, as highlighted by David Oliver at BMJ, you can risk being legally liable for any complications that arise shortly after they leave. Another common discharging mistake is not giving any aftercare or follow-up recommendations for patients when they leave, which can then lead to harm.
Of course, you can’t avoid all forms of trouble. But what you can do is be prepared, ensuring you’re aware of risks and have the right processes in place to deal with any legal issues when they arise. The points above should make sure you’re aware of that need.