There’s no doubt that it’s been a challenging couple of years for everyone in the healthcare industry, and the trend is likely to continue in the near future. With hospitals at capacity and nursing staffs low on personnel, malpractice litigation can pose a problem for many nurses. To help, we’ve collected the best advice on how nurse practitioners can avoid malpractice lawsuits.
Foster a Positive Relationship With Your Patient
The most important advice we can offer to nurse practitioners for avoiding litigation is to foster a positive relationship with their patients. We understand that it’s challenging to be a nurse in overcrowded hospitals, but taking time to be present and positive with your patients will pay dividends. Mistakes generally happen from nurses trying to rush services and procedures, so remember to take your time and be there for your patient.
Don’t Be Rude
There’s an old saying from lawyers that if you don’t want to get sued, don’t be rude. Nursing is a demanding job, and when you’re at the end of a long shift, it can be easy to be curt to a patient. However, it’s always better to stay positive in the long term. It may sound simple, but underestimating bedside manner is an important mistake for CRNAs to avoid.
There’s a reason there’s so much documentation in healthcare, and it’s there to not only help you in providing the best care for your patient but to protect you in future litigation. Be sure to follow all documenting procedures and protocols as it keeps everyone on the same page, from nurses to doctors to patients.
The documentation shows all the methods, observations, tests, and results of a patient under your care and can be crucial in future legal proceedings. Also, if your patient and their friends or family have questions or concerns about treatment, you can refer to their documentation, where everything they need to know will already be there.
Stick To Facts Only
It’s common for patients to ask nurses for their opinion on their status or treatment. Even if you have plenty of experience and are 99% sure that your opinion is correct, don’t speculate and be sure to only stick to the facts. Speculation can lead to confusion which can lead to frustration and litigation. Let the tests and results speak for you instead.
Those are just some of the strategies on how nurse practitioners can avoid malpractice lawsuits, but there are plenty more. Professional liability insurance for nurse practitioners can help in the case of a malpractice lawsuit, but the best strategy is always to do what you can to avoid them altogether. The critical thing for nurses to remember is that a positive relationship with their patients is worth the time and energy and helps prevent future problems.