The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Could a common mistake jeopardize your nursing career?

Professional license inquiries against doctors often get media coverage. However, it is important to remember that other medical professionals may also be subjected to an investigation from the applicable licensing board. In such event, an attorney who focuses on medical licensing can help protect an individual’s rights.

Professional license defense starts with an insistence on procedural rules. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs is the entity that launches a professional license investigation upon receipt of a formal complaint against a medical professional. At this stage, it may seem like the administrative process has not yet began. However, the Bureau may send an investigator to question the professional and gather facts relating to the claim. Our law firm advises our clients to refuse to talk to this investigator outside the presence of his or her attorney.

Some of the investigator’s questions might pertain to a specific patient’s records. According to a recent survey of around 7,000 reports from approximately 180 hospitals, medical record mix-ups are an alarmingly common problem in the health care system. Although electronic records may offer greater transparency, allowing patients access to their own records, a patient is not trained to catch errors like medication mix-ups or decipher complicated medical language.

Needless to say, the nurse or hospital administrator responsible for the erroneous record could be facing serious consequences, depending on the level of harm that resulted to the patient. Our law firm understands the pressure that nurses are under in busy medical centers, and a common mistake should not jeopardize a nurse’s career and ability to earn a living. By consulting with an attorney, a medical professional can take proactive steps to protect his or her future.

Source: NPR, “Report: Medical Record Mix-ups Are A Common Problem,” Scott Simon, Oct. 1, 2016

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