Unlike some other types of malpractice lawsuits, dental malpractice lawsuits are not very common. When they do arise, however, it can be draining on a practice’s time and energy. It can also irreparably damage a practice’s reputation, not to mention its credibility, with a community. So, what can you do to prevent dental malpractice lawsuits from arising? Here are some tips to consider.
Guarding Against Dental Malpractice Lawsuits
There are a number of simple and effective ways to guard your practice against the threat of dental malpractice lawsuits. Fortunately, these are things you should already be doing in your practice to build up credibility in your practice. Your clients and your community will respect you for implementing these tips and your practice will sustainably grow and smoothly run as an added benefit.
First, effective communication is critical to avoiding malpractice lawsuits. Miscommunication breeds feelings of ill will and also puts patients at risk of harm. Make sure your patients are always provided with sufficient information about the treatment they undergo, the treatment plan set out for them, procedures they will undergo, and medication that will be used on them and prescribed. Having informed patients is crucial to building a solid dentist-patient relationship. Make sure your patients know the risks of any procedures planned for them so that they can feel informed and empowered.
Consistent communication, including following up, with patients is essential to avoiding malpractice lawsuits. This can also mean following up with patients who have maybe started to miss appointments. Although it really should be on the patient to show up for appointments and get the treatment they need, this does not always happen. You should have standard protocol for following up with patients who miss appointments so that they can be rescheduled. Missing appointments can, of course, lead to an inability to effectively address issues that may have developed and need to be addressed. This can, in turn, start down a path towards a dental malpractice suit.
How your practice runs will also play a big role in how you can guard against dental malpractice suits as well as help your practice run as smoothly as possible. Diligent and consistent recordkeeping, for instance, can be critical in this. Solid recordkeeping can not only prevent lawsuits from arising, but also can play a vital role in combatting any legal action that may be brought. A patient’s records will, of course, play a strong part in any malpractice lawsuits. Thorough recordkeeping can combat any claims of negligence they may assert.
You should also be prepared to cooperate with any inquiries brought by the Dental Board. You may receive an inquiry letter from the Dental Board investigating a malpractice case. Responding to the letter and cooperating with the investigation can only work to your advantage.
Dental Law Attorneys
For assistance building up your practice to be safeguarded from things like malpractice lawsuits, talk to the team at Mahan Dental Law. Contact us today.