two dentists sitting on a couch, discussing dental practice mistakes

Common Mistakes Dental Practices Make When It Comes to Risk

Investing time and resources in risk management practices can bring great benefits to your dental practice for little expense. Unfortunately, far too many practices fail to put the work in at the front end of things and end up facing the consequences further down the road. Here, we will look at some of the common mistakes dental practices make when it comes to minimizing risks.

Common Mistakes Dental Practices Make When It Comes to Risk

Risk management techniques that can be easily designed and implemented within a dental practice include educating the staff on identifying, investigating, and addressing problem and potential problem situations. Other techniques include promoting thorough documentation within the practice and what warning signs to look for that a potentially problematic situation is arising and needs to be investigated quickly. These are techniques that will not only minimize liability risks for a dental practice but help quickly resolve disputes that may arise and provide solid defenses to claims brought against the practice.

The first big mistake practices commonly make when it comes to risk management is failing to designate a person tasked with overseeing risk management. This point person would be the first line of defense and oversee problems early as well as investigate the situation. Identifying problems can help them turn into big problems. It can mean that necessary corrections are made before a problem can fully develop. The risk management point person should receive reports of problems through a streamlined incident-reporting system. Staff members should be educated on how to make such reports and submit them to the risk management point person.

Another common mistake dental practices make concerning risk is the failure to advise and train staff on consistent, comprehensive, and accurate documentation. Document. Document. Document. Documentation that is made in the moment and is clear as well as thorough can be the best defense against any claims or problems that may arise down the road. It is made free from bias and while everything is fresh in a person’s mind. Documentation demonstrates and supports that your practice has provided quality care to patients. Should any dispute in patient care arise at some point, documentation to support the level of care provided will likely put a quick stop to anything escalating.

Lack of formal processes and protocol are also common in dental practice and put the operation at needless risk and liability exposure. This is particularly true when it comes to discharging patients from care. The failure to discharge patients properly is a common risk needlessly taken by many dental practices. This can be easily solved by putting a formal, well-documented discharge procedure in place. Following steps to such a procedure will help ensure there is a clear line established that discharges a patient from care and acts as the cutoff point of liability.

Dental Law Attorneys

Mahan Dental Law can help you identify and manage risks in your dental practice. Prevention practices are key to avoiding some major problems down the road. Contact us today.