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How to avoid medical malpractice cases

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Medical malpractice cases are the nightmares of doctors across the country. Because of them, doctors are required to pay towards expensive insurance. Because of them, doctors second guess every choice. Because of them, piles of paperwork and meetings are required to try to avoid as many cases as possible.

There’s no way around medical malpractice in modern American medicine, at least not at this moment, and it’s unlikely that will change in the near future. If we have to live with it, though, we might try to find ways to cut down on the number of cases in ways as painless as possible.

Here are five ways your office or hospital can cut down on the potential for lawsuits.

  1. Get consent and get it in writing

We all know that consent is required for any surgery, with all the possible consequences outlined. But don’t stop there, get consent for any sort of procedure or course of treatment. And, as often as possible, get that consent in writing. Of course, it isn’t advised to do this to the point of absurdity, with every recommendation to take Tylenol strictly documented, but any time there is any real potential for consequences that could lead to a suit, get consent from your patient in writing.

  1. Communicate with staff

Many medical errors are made simply because staff members don’t communicate well enough with each other. Don’t just communicate prescriptions and dosages, give detailed notes on every course of action, and also on any concerns or complaints voiced by the patient.

  1. Communicate with patients

Always assume a patient doesn’t understand when you are discussing a topic. While most patients are aware enough of common medical terms and treatments, they may not be, and they may be too embarrassed to share that fact with you outright. Explain everything slowly and in detail, and anticipate questions.

  1. Get some sleep

If you’re a doctor, get as much rest as possible. Hospitals should consider more generous shift-planning which will allow doctors to get the rest required to avoid making mistakes. The more rest a doctor has, the more energy he or she will have to fulfill all the points on this list and to be otherwise thorough and careful with patients.

  1. Follow up regularly

Have someone in your office call and see how every course of treatment is going. When a patient feels you are being thorough, they are less likely to harbor resentment if the treatment is not a success. Follow-ups also help build a bond with patients which will reduce the number of cases.

While there are many other points to be made in order to reduce medical malpractice cases, these five are a good start for any doctor’s office or hospital. Keep in mind, that there are lawyers with great experience everywhere who know how to win malpractice cases, so the less reason you give clients to contact lawyers in the first place, the better.

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