|April 2007 · Vol. 19, No. 04
MALPRACTICE RISK MANAGEMENT
Avoid these common errors in self-defense!
Thorough documentation is an essential tool of risk management. The onus—always—is on you.
Always make certain yourself that the patient has medical clearance for an operation and that the chart proves it
Informed consent shouldn’t be documented in the operative report, where it represents an event after the fact
Be specific, and don’t be sparing, in postop progress notes. “Wound looks good” does not suffice
Loss Prevention Assistant Manager, Medical Insurance Exchange of California, Oakland, Calif
In my work analyzing malpractice claims against physicians in 4 states, I (and my colleagues) have found that problems for defendant physicians can often be traced back to their failure to document the care and advice they provide. The 5 most common errors occur (and recur) when physicians are dealing with:
The good news is that, with some attention to detail, you may be able to avoid all these problems. Here is how.