How To Protect Your Healthcare Practice From Lawsuits

Written By Alla Levin
March 06, 2024

How To Protect Your Healthcare Practice From Lawsuits

The medical profession is saddled with several challenges, including the threat of lawsuits. When patients are dissatisfied with the service rendered or unhappy with the treatment outcome of a health condition, they may sue for unforeseen complications that disrupt their lives.

Research also reveals that 250,000 annual deaths are attributed to medical malpractice and threaten the very existence of healthcare practices nationwide. Fortunately, these strategies can protect your healthcare practice.

Prioritize informed consent and open communication

Effective communication is essential in every healthcare practice, especially because it is key to transparency and comprehension. As a medical professional, you must help your patients fully understand their health condition and treatment options.

While at it, you cannot ignore the importance of communicating the potential risks in their treatment and therapy options. Making this known in advance can save you from the inconveniences of medical lawsuits.

That is where the culture of informed consent comes into the picture. It must be an essential element in your healthcare practice as it ensures that patients are actively engaged in every decision regarding their health.

More importantly, remember to document every decision made with your patients, and that should be reflected in individual medical reports. The key is to be as detailed as possible, especially because the information you record can serve as tangible evidence should you ever face a medical lawsuit. 

Invest in comprehensive risk management practices

It is good to have general insurance for your healthcare practice, but that alone may be insufficient to shield you when the need arises. That explains why medical malpractice insurance is more appropriate because of its wider coverage and specificity.

With this insurance type, you can implement robust risk management strategies to help you sidestep potential lawsuits likely to come your way. Not knowing when or what may cause you to face a medical lawsuit is disturbing enough, but fortunately, you can avoid all that. First, conduct regular risk assessments to identify loopholes that may land your practice in hot waters.

Evaluate your clinical protocols, equipment maintenance, staffing levels, and, more importantly, regulatory standards. Even in the US, there are variations among individual states concerning regulatory standards. The more risks you identify, the fewer problems you will have with internal protocols and lawsuit preventive measures.

Prioritizing staff training on risk management principles is equally relevant. When the people you work with in your healthcare practice are well-informed, you can reduce the likelihood of medical errors.

Foster a culture of quality improvement and patient-centered care

Healthcare practitioners are increasingly fine-tuning their practice to embrace patient-centered care. Treatment and therapy are no longer generalized but prioritize unique health presentations among patients.

This type of care requires feedback from patients themselves, which is why you must establish mechanisms for them to voice concerns and grievances. Creating an outlet that allows your patients to make suggestions where your healthcare practice is concerned will also be beneficial. Doing this demonstrates your commitment to patient satisfaction while fostering a culture of quality improvement in your practice.

Safeguarding your practice from lawsuits is possible; you only need to know what and how to do it.

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