As a doctor, you work hard to provide the best care possible for your patients. But despite your best efforts, mistakes can happen. These mistakes can lead to medical malpractice claims if you’re not careful. To help protect yourself and your practice, follow these ten steps to avoid medical malpractice claims.

1. Get Informed Consent

Before you perform any treatment, it’s vital to get informed consent from your patient. This means explaining the risks and benefits of the treatment and making sure the patient understands. If the patient doesn’t give consent, don’t proceed with the treatment. In the unfortunate case you make a mistake, you can contact The Tinker Law Firm PLLC for legal representation. They have a reputation for being one of the best law firms handling malpractice cases.

2. Keep Accurate Medical Records

Keeping accurate medical records is essential in avoiding medical malpractice claims. When patients visit the doctor, they expect their medical history will be accurately recorded and their current condition accurately diagnosed. If a doctor fails to do this, it can lead to severe consequences. Inaccurate records can lead to misdiagnosis, which results in delayed or inadequate treatment. While keeping accurate records is no guarantee that a doctor will never make a mistake, it is an integral part of mitigating the risk of medical malpractice claims.

3. Communicate With Your Patients

Good communication with patients is essential to providing quality medical care and avoiding potential malpractice claims. When patients feel listened to and respected, they are more likely to trust their doctor and follow treatment recommendations.

Open communication allows patients to ask questions and get clarification on their diagnosis and treatment plan. This helps ensure they understand the risks and benefits of proposed procedures and can make informed decisions about their care. Good communication can help build a rapport between doctor and patient, making it likely that patients will return for follow-up appointments and continue to receive the care they need.

4. Follow Accepted Standards of Care

Medical professionals are held to a high standard of care, and it is essential to meet or exceed those standards to protect patients and avoid liability. There are several ways to stay up-to-date on the latest standards of care, such as reading professional journals, attending conferences, and taking continuing education courses.

It is essential to be aware of any changes in state or federal laws that could affect the standard of care. By staying informed and up-to-date, medical professionals can help ensure that they provide the best possible care for their patients.

5. Use Caution When Prescribing Drugs

Anytime a doctor prescribes a medication, they open themselves up to the potential for a medical malpractice claim. This is because there is always the potential for a patient to have an adverse reaction to a drug. Doctors need to use caution when prescribing drugs and ensure they only prescribe necessary medications. Doctors should ensure their patients are fully aware of the risks associated with taking a particular medication.

6. Consider Using Checklists

Checklists are used in the medical field to help ensure all necessary steps are taken during a procedure. For example, many hospitals have created surgical checklists that must be followed before performing surgery. The use of checklists helps mitigate the risk of human error and improve patient safety.

7. Document Everything

Doctors need to document all aspects of a patient’s care, including examinations, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up appointments. This documentation helps defend against potential malpractice claims by providing a record of the provided care. If a patient files a malpractice claim, documentation is used to prove the care provided met the accepted standard of care.

8. Be Aware of Risk Factors

Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of a medical malpractice claim. These include working in a high-risk specialty, such as surgery, and having a history of malpractice claims. Doctors need to be aware of these risk factors and take steps to minimize them.

9. Seek Feedback

Feedback can be important in identifying potential problems and avoiding medical malpractice claims. Doctors should seek out feedback from patients, colleagues, and staff regularly. This feedback helps identify areas where care can be improved or potential problems with care delivery.

As a healthcare provider, be aware of the risk factors for medical malpractice claims and take steps to avoid them. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can help protect yourself from costly legal action.