If you are in charge of running a hospital or health clinic, then you are undoubtedly aware of the many aspects that you must attend to. One thing that you definitely need to keep in mind is the necessity to prevent lawsuits. Even if your facility has a competent risk management team, you can still take the extra steps to prevent litigation. Here are aspects that you should focus on in your efforts to minimize litigations:
Communication is the key
As you may be aware, communication is the key to making any relationship work, and that includes doctor and patient relationships, as well. You should plan to mandate regular special trainings in which you will stress the importance of communication.
Doctors are completely aware of the importance of adequate communication with their patients. However, physicians can become overworked and easily stressed, causing them to rush during appointments. This could result in the physicians at your hospital forgetting to explain important information to patients.
Patients rely on their doctors for guidance, counseling on their health, and to explain all potential side effects of treatments upfront. If a doctor fails to inform a patient of a possible side effect of a medication or treatment and the patient suffers from a disabling or fatal injury, it is likely that their family will sue.
If you ensure that all your doctors are explaining all the necessary details of every treatment, then you can minimize your risks. If a family is aware that their loved one could suffer from a severe side effect or even death as a result of a treatment in advance, then they have no grounds for litigation if the unfortunate occurs.
Provide stress relief
An overworked and stressed-out doctor is unable to perform his job to the best of his or her ability. By encouraging stress-relieving activities (like an onsite gym and spa), you can minimize the likelihood of lawsuits. If your doctors are well-rested and relaxed, then they will be more apt to:
- Make early and accurate diagnoses
- Exhibit a positive bedside manner
- Adhere to informed consent laws
Obviously no one is perfect, even medical doctors. However, doctors have a major responsibility, meaning that they must be as close to perfect as possible. Something as seemingly simple as failing to inform a patient about a side effect of a treatment or missing a serious diagnosis could result in your medical facility getting sued. This could have a negative impact on your finances and also your reputation. Investing extra money for additional training sessions and expert risk managers is certainly more desirable than being contacted by a patient's medical malpractice lawyer.
You might consider contacting a malpractice lawyer like Bennett & Zydron PC for more information about legal preventative measures.