Litigation and Liability
There are so many positive aspects of being a physician, but lawsuits and malpractice claims can ruin what is an otherwise credible and desirable profession. The unfortunate truth is that even the best doctors will most likely have to face claims against their diagnostics and procedures at least once in their career. Statistics say that only thirty percent of such claims actually result in a payout, but that is still a considerable threat for physicians. There are ways, however, to minimize the possibility of a claim actually resulting in an insurance payout for a patient.
Know the Danger Zones
While good physicians are always careful, it is worth knowing where most malpractice claims come from so that those areas can receive special care and attention. The most common complaint is a result of surgery. About one quarter of all malpractice suits result from surgery. Just over one fifth come from misdiagnosis, or late diagnosis.
Of the thirty percent of claims that result in a payout, most of them are diagnostic issues. The rest are patient injury complaints, which can result from mishaps regarding documentation, technical problems such as system failure, lack of proper judgment and more. Taking especially careful consideration of these common claim themes is a good way to prevent one from occurring in the first place.
Communication is key in just about every area of life, and likewise, communication is essential for a physician. This applies to every area of intake and treatment. There needs to be a proper system of communication within a hospital or practice, and on the behalf of the doctor as well. No orders or information can be lost in in translation or misreported.
Effective communication also refers to communicating with the patients. This goes beyond informed consent, although that is part of it. It is the physician’s responsibility to explain everything that needs to be explained. This may be awkward in certain situations, but avoiding discomfort is not worth a lawsuit based upon misunderstanding later on. Communicate clearly and deliberately and allow patients to ask as many questions as needed. Providing clarification and answering questions not only fulfills your duty of care, but it can minimize malpractice claims in the future.
Follow Through and Think Ahead
Once a physician begins the care for an individual, there is potential liability attached to their work. A doctor must make sure to follow through with patients, to be sure that they have the resources and information necessary to make informed decisions, patients have access to necessary specialists, they receive the appropriate medications and more. Where there are differences in procedures between units and offices, a good doctor will be sure to bridge the gap. Staying up to date on current literature and practices is another important way to secure oneself against something falling through the cracks.
Competent Professional Liability Insurance
Regardless of how competent the doctor or surgeon, there will always be the potential for malpractice suits and injury complaints. This is why every physician needs competent professional liability insurance. Bozzuto Insurance employs knowledgeable agents that are familiar with the ins and outs of medical malpractice and related issues. Their policies can be tailored to any physician’s situation. Not only will they handle the claims as they come in, but they are a repository of solid advice for how to avoid a dispute in the first place.
About Bozzuto & Co. Insurance Services, Inc.
Bozzuto & Company Insurance Services has provided business and personal insurance solutions to clients throughout California since its founding in 1981. Our experienced staff understands the unique needs that each person has when insuring their lives and their businesses, and we pride ourselves on our deeply personal customer service. We are happy to help you through every step of the insurance selection process. Contact us today at (800) 400-6394 to learn more about what we can do for you.