Unfortunately, malpractice litigation is a regular part of practicing as a chiropractor or any other medical professional. This guide explores several tips that chiropractors can utilize to avoid chiropractic malpractice claims.
Communicate With Patients
A lack of communication is at the center of many chiropractic malpractice claims. Miscommunication is the culprit behind many errors from chiropractors and misconceptions from patients about treatment and results.
Communication between a chiropractor and patient should be thorough and precise before, during, and after any treatment or procedure. A patient should understand the chiropractor’s treatment plan, why they chose that treatment, and the expected results so that there are no misconceptions throughout the process.
Pro Tip: Body language is just as important to effective communication as talking. Ensure your body language communicates attentive reception and understanding.
Avoid Sales Language
While communicating with patients, chiropractors don’t want to sound like they’re selling treatment to a patient. Sometimes, a patient can feel like they’ve been misled because a chiropractor guaranteed things like pain-free treatment or results that weren’t realistic.
A chiropractor should explain their treatment plan for a patient and why they think it’s the right decision, but be cautious of overpromising or sounding like a salesperson. If patients don’t feel the treatment delivered on the chiropractor’s promises, they may seek retribution through a malpractice claim.
Create a Positive Office Experience
Patients with a pleasant experience at the chiropractor’s office are less likely to feel mistreated and file a malpractice claim. A positive office experience can make patients feel cared for and appreciated, even if that experience has nothing to do with their treatment.
Many things go into creating a positive office experience for patients, but two key factors many patients cite are courteous staff and punctual appointments. We know how difficult it can be to keep everything on schedule throughout the day, but operating your business in a timely fashion is a simple way to ensure patients are happy.
Don’t Slack on Documentation
Medical documentation plays a vital factor in many malpractice claims and can help prevent chiropractic malpractice altogether. For one, thorough and precise documentation ensures that nothing is overlooked throughout treatment and helps chiropractors reduce procedure mistakes.
Documentation also provides a reliable record of treatment, from the first consultation to the patient’s medical history and notes from each appointment. If a mistake happens because a patient failed to notify the chiropractor about a preexisting condition, the documentation will provide proof of the omission.
Hopefully, you never come across a malpractice claim as a chiropractor, but it’s always best to be prepared with chiropractic malpractice insurance. If you’re looking for malpractice insurance or want to learn more, feel free to contact our staff at Baxter & Associates.