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The occurrence of risk in healthcare is almost impossible to prevent. However, with proper risk management strategies, the level and frequency of risks can be minimized to the bare minimum, which ultimately leads to the prevention or minimization of potential medical malpractice. Several tips can reduce or prevent medical malpractices. However, there is genuinely no means to prevent individuals or organizations from filing lawsuits in the case of malpractice. In the event of an actual lawsuit, the practice of useful risk management tips can go a long way in increasing the chances of a healthcare center getting a favorable outcome at the end of a court or settlement proceedings. Also, it ensures that all malpractices that may inevitably occur are covered by insurance.
Generally, any healthcare center that does not possess a robust risk management strategy is likely to become a soft target for continuous lawsuits from vindictive patients and opportunistic attorneys. Also, the healthcare center is more likely to have judgments and settlements go against them.
Concerning the prevention or minimization of medical malpractices that could potentially lead to lawsuits or loss of resources, the following risk management tips are presented.
The most crucial tip for mitigation of medical malpractice is the adaptation of a viable risk management strategy or tool. Any healthcare center that wishes to stay in business and maintain a decent reputation must have a robust risk management system that can streamline the activities of the center such that risks are identified, categorized, and presented in order of severity. This is crucial to ensure that risks are minimized. Standardized regulation standards, such as the IOS, have been developed to ensure assessments are done under the regulations of the medical profession. Also, modern risk management software are tools that are used to simplify the entire processes involved in patient care. Therefore, this minimizes the likelihood of occurrence of medical malpractice, reduces the possibilities of lawsuits, and ensures that malpractices that do occur are entirely covered by insurance.
For specialist hospitals and clinics that record or store data on computer systems servers or cloud-based systems, it is critical that all data is encrypted. It is done to prevent the loss of critical data to malicious elements in the events of stolen equipment or online security breaches. Also, it helps prevent the likelihood of loss of data concerning high-profile patients, which may lead to medical malpractices that are likely to lead to lawsuits or settlements.
Another important tip, which can help to minimize the number of medical malpractice cases is to conduct periodic medical audits. This audit involves a periodic review of medical practices and standards that are used by the medical personnel of the healthcare center. Such audits are best carried out by third-party non-partisan consultants who are specialists in medical risk management. The process must be carefully conducted to ensure patient care. It must cover all possible weak links, which include medical procedures, equipment maintenance and certification, and record-keeping to prevent the possibility of incidence of medical malpractice.
Since there are various weak sections of the medical practice that are susceptible to malpractice, audits help to provide ways to reduce the risk factor to an acceptable level. Also, audits help to pinpoint new points of weakness, which can be addressed accordingly through the implementation of recommendations.
The key to achieving risk management and avoiding medical malpractice involves training and retraining of all medical personnel, which include doctors, nurses, lab attendants, and all other supporting staff. Part of the requirements of malpractice insurance coverage is that workers must be adequately trained and retrained on the underlying ethics, regulations, and procedures of the different sectors of the medical profession. Therefore, each person must be familiar with the risk management strategies deployed by the healthcare center and must also understand the importance of adherence to each requirement of the risk management plan. There must also be a supervisor that ensures complete compliance by each person within the center.
From time to time, a healthcare center should invite an accreditation agency to come to its facility and perform a survey to evaluate compliance to procedures and processes of healthcare. It can be a handy tool in decreasing risk and reducing the instances of medical malpractice. Usually, after the accreditation is carried out, a time-bounded certificate is issued, which shows that the center has been certified to operate. Most insurance companies with not cover hospitals or clinics, which are not accredited by a government-approved accreditation agency.
Another important tip is to encourage every staff irrespective of position, to be able to speak out about problems and potential issues that can increase the chances of occurrence of medical malpractices, which can leave the facility open to all sorts of lawsuits. The administrators of healthcare centers should always ensure that all their workers are free to voice out their concerns without fear.
The administrators of hospitals or clinics must ensure that customers are adequately managed. Individual patients can be problematic, and the hospital must be willing to go the extra mile to assist such patients. Also, a center must ensure that it appropriately manages terrible online reviews, which can be instrumental in other patients’ decision to file for medical malpractice lawsuits.