If you are a doctor, a physician, or work in the healthcare industry, then you should be aware of how common it is for healthcare workers and practices to be sued. Some departments are sued more than others, however, the more you know the better protection you have.
According to the American medical association, 32% of all physicians have been sued, with a further 16.8% sued more than once. Therefore, you need to be prepared. Even if you do everything by book and to the best of your knowledge, you may still run into a few hiccups along the way.
So, in this blog post, we will discuss more on how to protect yourself from being sued as a doctor or physician.
Consider talking to your patients more
This may seem rather basic. However, doctor-patient relationships are crucial. Often, it is the relationships with the poorest rapport that report malpractice. And while some doctors who are sued may deserve it due to malpractice, for others, it could have been avoided.
So, what do we recommend? Quite simply, talking to your patients more. For example, you should discuss all treatment options in detail, providing a realistic approach, e.g. discussing the likelihood of treatment working, the potential side-effects, and so forth.
While this is sometimes glossed over, the more the patient knows, the less likely they are to file a malpractice suit. This is because the patient was more aware and knew the side effects before taking a certain medication, undergoing surgery, or simply following your professional advice.
Ensure you remain educated with the latest practices
Following on from our previous point, as a doctor or physician, you have a responsibility to remain educated with the latest practices and information in your chosen field. For instance, older practices may be more dangerous, may present more severe consequences, or advice may be outdated.
As you can imagine then, keeping up to date is key. But you likely already know this and have a plan in place already. However, if you don’t, then this is something to consider.
Protect yourself and your practice with malpractice insurance
Doctors are being sued more and more often. Therefore, to protect yourself and your practice, you should consider purchasing malpractice insurance. For those that don’t already know, medical malpractice insurance covers costs associated with the case. Without this in place, you would need to pay these costs yourself.
This can be expensive, causing crippling debt, causing disruption to your clinic and to your career.