No matter how careful you are as a healthcare organization, it seems that a legal claim is always at the back of your mind. While you cannot eliminate this possibility, you can take steps to help ensure that your exposure to risk is minimized. In the end, your primary objective is to help your patients. You should be free to do that without worrying about baseless legal claims made against you from patients, workers or family members. With that in mind, consider the following four ways that your organization can protect itself in the litigious environment in which we live.
Make Sure You Adhere to the Standards of Care
No matter what type of practice you are in, there are rules and regulations in place for a reason. Work hard to follow a set protocol, no matter what type of situation you might encounter. To do otherwise is to encourage a lawsuit if something were to go awry. Make sure that you follow proper procedures, best practices, and adhere to the current standard of care.
Communicate across the Board
All healthcare facilities need to ensure proper communication among all personnel that interact with the patient. This is how patient information flows, and it is how mistakes are minimized. If you fail to communicate properly, patient care can suffer. To protect yourself, you want to ensure that you communicate all important patient information to other practitioners who are also involved in the treatment of individuals in your charge. Be sure that you document as required and where needed. This may involve forms at the point of care. You will want the ability to deploy new forms quickly or modify them quick as the need arises as well as have patients sign them, for example.
Retain a Lawyer
In the event that a legal challenge does come up, you will want to have legal representation that understand healthcare and is ready to defend and protect your rights. It is better to have this arranged ahead of time, Firms like Obradovich Law are a good option. The right attorney can help you safeguard your interests. By reviewing where you are in advance could save you significant time and money in the long term.
Document Everything You Can
Your motto should become that if you didn’t write it down, then it didn’t happen. This will get you in the happen of documenting everything pertinent to the care of your patients. Your agency management system can play a key role in reducing paperwork, while increasing your efficiency, all the while providing you with additional protection if a legal does arise. Electronic Visit Verification, known as EVV, will soon be mandated for Medicaid and Medicare across the US. This type of electronic time clock helps to reduce fraud, waste and abuse in the post-acute care market as well as documents when a worker is in the home or facility, a critical piece of independently documented data needed in determining and documenting where and when a worker was in the home if an issue where to arise.
If you will follow these four pieces of advice, you will be well-positioned to protect your organization. Remember that it is all about doing what is best for your patients.------
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