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How can doctors avoid legal issues?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2022 | Medical Licensing

As a medical professional, you strive to provide amazing care to each and every patient. However, mistakes and errors can still happen, potentially costing you your license depending on the nature of the transgression.

That is why all medical professionals must take active steps to avoid legal issues. Here are a few best practices you can employ.

Use informed consent practices

Informed consent involves making a patient aware of all possible outcomes of a surgery, procedure or treatment. In addition to discussing the benefits of the treatment, you must also explain all possible risks and complications. You should communicate this information both verbally and in writing via a consent form. Allow the patient to ask questions and review the form in detail before consenting to the treatment.

Maintain good medical records

Well-organized medical records show that you and your staff follow essential rules and guidelines. They can also help you refute claims from a patient that points to wrongdoing by you or a member of your medical care team. Along with keeping documents organized, make sure handwritten notes are legible. This will prevent misunderstandings between you and your staff, as well as between you and the patient.

Understand what negligence means

Medical negligence entails proving certain criteria. First, as a medical provider, you must owe a duty of care to the patient, meaning that you and the patient were in a professional relationship and that advice was not communicated casually in a non-professional situation (such as a party or other social gathering). Second, the patient must prove a breach of the duty of care. Finally, the patient must exhibit that this breach directly led to their injuries.

Even when you follow all best practices to avoid legal issues, you may still face an accusation of medical malpractice. Ensure you have protections in place to address such a claim.