No one wants to go to a doctor and end up in worse shape than before. Besides, errors during medical procedures often bring more expenses and take more time to heal. Also, it creates awkward legal situations that neither the physician nor the patient want. As a doctor, your reputation is based on the number of successful procedures that you have carried out. In other words, the number of happy and satisfied patients you manage to attend to. Like all professionals, doctors are expected to treat their patients with the highest degree of care. In fact, they are compelled by the law to do so. Therefore, for you to avoid medical malpractice lawsuit, you should:
1. Establish a Healthy Doctor-Patient Relationship
There is nothing more important than an open and a clear two-way communication. Try to get your patient to feel comfortable; there should not be secrets between you and your patient.
2. Document everything
Write down everything you say and do. Have a written back up for every test, visit, and medication. It should be needless to say that you must write it as legible as possible.
3. Keep yourself updated
Be on the lookout for any new and more effective procedures. Medication and diseases are constantly evolving; as long as you are practicing, you will have to keep studying.
4. Act under consensus
Don’t do anything without your patient’s approval. If your patient is unfitted to talk to, you should contact a family member. Bear in mind that, doesn’t apply to an emergency.
5. Keep constant follow-ups
Medical treatment goes beyond the hospital. It is important to keep track of your patient’s progress. Additionally, you must be aware of any procedure done by other doctors, to prevent them from doing a medical malpractice.
6. Be honest
Don’t give false hopes to your patient. Always speak with the truth, it doesn’t matter how harsh it is.
7. Ask for second opinions
Leave all your pride behind. If you don’t know something, ask a fellow doctor. Even if you know what to do, it isn’t harmful to have a second opinion.
8. Keep yourself healthy
Get plenty of sleep, eat healthily, and don’t drink during work. The healthier you are, the safer your patient will be.
9. Ask, ask, and ask
It is important to ask your patient whether he/she is allergic to something, using other medicines, or have a particular medical history.
10. Know the law
All professions are regulated by the law, and medicine is not an exception. You must know all the local and national laws that oversee your profession.
This isn’t a bulletproof guide, but you can be sure that by following these steps, you are less likely to do something wrong. Bear in mind that you are dealing with somebody else’s life; you can never be too careful.