3 Tips to Incorporate Risk Management Into Your Practice
Risk management is an ongoing process for any medical practice and should be viewed as a series of activities that are regularly done by all members of the medical practice team, as appropriate. Today, we will talk about 3 simple things you can do daily to help protect your practice from medical liability and risk.
1. Set-up a successful patient encounter. Good bedside manner can go a long way towards reducing medical malpractice risk. There are several small things a physician can do to set the scene for a positive patient encounter. First, do what you can to reduce distractions during the visit –put a cell phone on vibrate, ask to only be interrupted if it is essential, etc. Second, say “hello” to the patient, sit down, and make eye contact during the visit. Third, write down any follow-up instructions (schedule an appointment, call for results, fill a prescription, etc) for your patient to take away with them.
2. At the end of each patient visit, ask if you have answered all of your patient’s questions. Study after study has shown that satisfied patients are less likely to sue for medical malpractice. And, often, asking this one, simple question can head-off a later phone call or e-mail.
If you would like to take patient satisfaction (and your risk management) one step further in your practice, you can provide your patients with a patient satisfaction survey after their visit. Clients of MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com have access to our Free Patient Satisfaction Survey System. Conducting a Patient Satisfaction Survey can provide insight into early problems/issues and provide an opportunity for the physician or practice to correct them in a timely manner, before they escalate.
3. Make sure patient charts aren’t left out. Charts should never be left in the exam room, on counters in the reception area, in the break room, or in any public area of the office. Make sure that data and client records are secure. Data breaches can cause massive problems, both time and expense-wise, for practices and should not be taken lightly.
Good practice habits can translate into good risk management. Doing the three things above can help to reduce your medical malpractice risk and exposure.