New York physicians are highly susceptible to a variety of professional liability claims. From disputes with unhappy patients to investigations from local regulators, physicians can be exposed to a variety of potential lawsuits on a daily basis. Whether justified or proven false, defending yourself and your practices from these claims can be extremely costly for medical professionals. It is important that NYC physicians protect themselves as much as possible from exposure to medical malpractice claims. Here are a few tips to help avoid professional liability exposures:
- Open Communication: It is important to keep an open dialogue between the patient and physician, however this may not always be easy to accomplish. Patients often hesitate to question their physician’s treatment plan or advice, however it is vital that patients fully understand any course of action or treatment plan they may be accepting or your practice may be exposed to allegations of wrongdoing from discontented patients. Always confirm that the patient understands what’s going on, while they may not understand the specifics of the procedure, the patient should be well informed about what the process entails, any risks and complications which could arise, and what to expect during and after the work is being done.
- Diligent notes. Detailed record keeping is a strong proactive defensive against allegations of malpractice or professional error. Patient charts, logs and records can be crucial when combatting a malpractice claim, but they can also work against physicians. Experts recommend that medical professionals note everything about a procedure, good and bad, and provide extra details about any anomalies or accidents which may occur and what actions were taken to remedy the situation. Experts also suggest that instead of using an eraser to edit charts and records, in the moment that physicians should simply stroke through the unwanted text with a simple line and mark it “error” or “incorrect entry”. These errors should be initialed and dated to show that the error was discovered. This can help avoid further allegations of misconduct, such as document tampering.
- Keep the patient updated. It is always important to inform your patient about how the procedure went, especially if any unexpected circumstances arose during the process. Patients should be informed of any anomalies, no matter how minor or “routine” they may be.
- Bill them after. Most insurers pay upon completion of a procedure, as such billing a patient and their insurer beforehand can lead to complications. This is especially true if the patient decided to seek a second opinion or chooses to forgo or change your treatment plan.
Proper planning, policies and strong professional liability insurance can help New York physicians protect themselves and their practice form professional errors, mistakes, accidents and other misconduct. At The Rubin Group, we specialize in helping New York physicians find complete risk management and business insurance solutions to protect their practice. Our NYC physician liability insurance can help protect your operation from the burden of legal fees, settlements and other expenses related to allegations of professional malpractice or wrongdoing. Let our experienced NYC physician liability specialists help protect you and your practice. To learn more, give us a call today at (877) 806-7239.