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Proper documentation, risk management could reduce lawsuits

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A speaker at the International African American Prosthetic and Orthotic Coalition Annual Meeting said certain documentation and risk management strategies could prevent or minimize lawsuits for O&P practices.

“Keeping track of names, dates, materials given to the patient and all physician notes is important,” Donald Foley, principal and program specialist at Cailor Fleming Insurance, said. “Also, keep note of patient medical history and follow-up treatments or appointments.”

Donald Foley

Donald Foley

According to Foley, failure to keep proper patient documentation could damage a practice’s credibility. The documentation should also be accurate and fair, not self-serving, he said. In addition, practices should keep patients involved in the process.

“Make sure [patients] know what you are doing, and specifically, why you are doing what you are doing,” Foley said.

He said trust and compliance come from good relationships.

“If something goes wrong, even if it is not your fault, do not be afraid to offer an apology. A sincere, accurate admission of regret, along with a promise to remedy the situation can reduce the risk of a liability lawsuit,” he said.

Risk management and emergency preparedness also could reduce the risk of a lawsuit, Foley said.

“Keep up with necessary technology. Keep walking areas free of debris. Have adequate staff to assist a patient in need. Common sense things like this will go a long way.” – by Shawn M. Carter

 

Reference:

Foley D. Documentation and risk management. Presented at: International African American Prosthetic & Orthotic Coalition Annual Meeting; May 19-21, 2016; Memphis, Tenn.

Disclosure: Foley reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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