Running a dental practice is no easy feat. There can seem to be a million fires to put out and prevent on a daily basis. With so much to manage, much can get lost in the shuffle. A comprehensive dental practice risk assessment can be crucial to protecting your practice from liability exposure. Through an assessment, you can get an evaluation of the possibility of liability exposure for you and your practice while protecting your employees and your patients as well. When you know the risks, you can work to put best practices in place to protect all parties involved and avoid problems before they pop up.
What is a Dental Practice Risk Assessment?
A dental practice risk assessment is, essentially, a comprehensive evaluation of a dental practice’s potential liability exposure. It details the areas where a dental practice may be found in potential violation of relevant regulations as well as potential legal exposure for certain practices that may seem unsafe or are not up to the necessary standard of care in which a dental provider should have in place for patients and staff.
A dental practice risk assessment will usually address some of the common issues that can create unnecessary risk, such as:
- Asbestos exposure
- Child protection practices
- Data protection
- Harassment in the workplace
- Infection control
- Latex allergy prevention
- Medical emergencies
- Patient recordkeeping
- Patient consenting to treatment
- Patient complaint procedures
- Payment methods
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Radiological protection
- Staff recruitment and hiring
- Registration details recordkeeping
- Safeguards for vulnerable adults
- Slip and fall protection
Through risk assessment, issues and potential issues are brought to light. Areas in which you may be out of compliance with the law can be looked at, understood, and addressed accordingly. Furthermore, the risk assessment can help you make an organized and concerted effort to address the risks that your dental practice is currently facing. With so many potential risks out there, knowing which ones could immediately impact your own practice can help focus your energy into the areas that really need them.
A comprehensive risk assessment is also about more than just identifying potential risk areas. It is also about addressing them. Through risk assessment, you can evaluate best practices that will help you avoid problems and things like patient complaints. Risk assessment time is the best time to develop strategies to effectively address problems should they arise.
In order to develop these risk addressing strategies, the hazard first needs to be identified. The risk needs to be assessed. This is where you have the opportunity to develop best practices and procedures when a certain problem, such as a patient complaint, arises. How should staff and management handle the situation? What records are going to be kept about the complaint and how it was handled? Through record keeping, you can later review your procedures to see what the outcomes were and if your processes can be improved upon in the future.
Dental Law Attorneys
Mahan Dental Law offers comprehensive risk assessments for dental practices to help ensure your business continues to run successfully and without costly litigation interfering with its smooth operation. Contact us today.