Methods for Preventing Malpractice Lawsuits

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There are many ways doctors can limit malpractice lawsuits.

Malpractice lawsuits can be damaging to doctors for numerous reasons. Not only can they have financial implications, these types of lawsuits take up valuable time and can hurt a doctor's reputation. 

In addition to obtaining professional liability insurance to protect themselves against malpractice lawsuits, doctors can complete a number of tasks to attempt to rid themselves of these cases. 

Complete a review of their practice
Malpractice lawsuits can result from any number of things, such as poor procedures or faulty equipment. That said, doctors could benefit from completing an audit of their practice. This could include reviewing their practice's standards and procedures as well as making sure all equipment is up-to-date and working properly. It may even be smart to hire a third party service to find any weaknesses, so their is no risk of a doctor being biased when reviewing their own practice. 

Make sure the staff is properly trained
Training the staff is an essential part of trying to prevent malpractice lawsuits. For the most part, mistakes made by the staff will be the main cause of these types of issues. That said, the head of the practice needs to ensure they have peer reviews, education programs that teach the proper procedures and standards of the practice and risk management training. These three things can potentially be the difference in a staff member completing a procedure successfully or with a costly mistake. 

Be courteous and develop relationships with patients
Another simple way to help prevent malpractice lawsuits is to simply be nice and develop relationship with patients. For example, doctors should show an interest in their patient and strike up friendly conversations while they are in the office. Showing they care is essential, as people are less likely to sue someone they have a positive relationship with. It is important that the leader of the practice makes this clear to their staff as well, so the overall experience at the office can be an enjoyable one for patients. 

Refer patients to specialists when necessary
Not every doctor will know what to do in each individual case, so it is important that they refer patients to a specialist when necessary. For example, if a patient comes to them with heart troubles, the doctor will likely suggest a diagnosis and treatment. After this, doctors should always recommend them to the proper specialist. In this case it would be a cardiologist. This also holds true when people come in and request a test such as a chest CT scan or brain MRI. After the test is completed, refer them to the specialist who can further help them. 

Become accredited
Filing for accreditation through an organization can potentially help practices avoid any types of malpractice issues. In order to receive this label, practices will need to be audited by the accrediting company. This could help point out any flaws that could reduce malpractice lawsuits in the future. Also, having to answer to a third party that is not affiliated with the practice could help them be more cautious when pertaining to procedures and regulations. 

Even though doctors may take the necessary steps to prevent malpractice lawsuits from happening, there is no real way to eliminate them altogether. With that in mind, doctors may want to consider purchasing an individual professional liability insurance policy.

Learn More about Professional Liability Insurance >

This type of insurance can provide them with financially assistance for legal and court fees as well as settlement and judgment costs. If need be, legal defense can also be provided. Obtaining professional liability insurance can help prevent a malpractice lawsuit from being overly damaging. 

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