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7 Tips To Avoid Medical Malpractices

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

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Our country’s health system is not an ideal one, and sometimes the life of the patient is endangered due to the lack of facilities available for the patient. More often than not the doctor gets blamed, and might even get sued. Sometimes, the circumstances are out of control, however, there are some tips that can help avoid medical malpractices:

1. Communicate with your patient

The first step to gain your patient’s confidence and trust is to communicate openly with your patient. Communication is the key to avoiding undue problems and developing a healthy and transparent relationship. Quite frankly, if your bedside manners with the patient are creating friction between you and your patient, then it’s time you worked on those. Let your patients ask questions and answer them patiently.

One of the most important causes of malpractice lawsuits is a lack of communication between the patient and the doctor. To improve their patient-doctor relationship, healthcare providers should also ask for feedback from their patients, and make improvements where needed.

2. Document everything

Another great defence to avoid medical malpractices is documentation. It is the best administrative defence against lawsuits. Clearly written, and unambiguous documents protect the rights of both the patients and the physicians. Documentation should include details about appointments, procedures, payments, cancellation etc. Properly documented visits help both the patient and the doctor in developing a mutually respectful relationship. 

3. Get informed consent

Another important step to avoiding lawsuits is getting informed consent from the patient. While the doctor may realize what is good for the patient, at the end of the day, it should be the patient’s own decision to go for intervention or therapy rather than the doctor’s.

Moreover, informed consent helps in developing a connection of trust between the patient and doctor, whereby the patient is more likely to entrust the doctor with his welfare. This trust is important to develop as the patient is going to be dependent on the doctor for his treatment. The doctor should inform the patient of all the risks, benefits, potential treatment options, and costs and consequences of the treatment.

4. Stay up-to-date to current standards

Medical law standards are quite different from social laws. Health management should ensure that the doctor is up-to-date to the current standards of medical law and that the doctor has research material regarding medical law on hand. If the doctor knows the law well, he can protect himself from a lawsuit in the future.

5. Follow-up

Following-up with your patient is important even after treatment or intervention. Effective comparison of old and new test results are important in this regard. Follow-up with the patient after examinations and conversations can also help receive valuable feedback from the patient, and know about any shortcomings.

Many physicians make the mistake of ignoring test results when it comes to follow-up and opens themselves up to lawsuits. A good way is to keep a patient record on hand and follow up these records until the next appointment.

6. Manage your patient

It is the doctor’s responsibility to manage the illness of the patient, and meet his expectations. One of the best ways to meet the patient’s expectations is to have brutally honest and open communication. Being accurate and forthright with the patient helps in clearing out any ambiguity, and also helps him identify future implications.

The physician should also speak the language of the patient and communicate with him in non-technical terms. Health conditions should be explained to the patient using traditional words and regional language with no medical jargon. It is best if the physician imagines himself in the patient’s shoes. Empathetic behaviour on the part of the healthcare provider is very helpful in dealing with the patients.

7. Ask for help if you need

No doctor is a know-it-all. There can be instances in his medical career where he needs the help and expertise of other specialists. A physician should not be hesitant about asking his peers to help if it benefits his patient. You owe it to your patient to leave your pride aside and ask for help when needed. The stubbornness of the physician should not be put before the health of the patient.

Many hospitals and clinics are deficient in manpower and funds needed for an ideal healthcare system. Despite these circumstances, healthcare providers and their teams should ensure that everyone is getting the right treatment, and the deficiencies in the system are not overshadowing the treatment of the patients.

Physicians should be empathic with their patients and treat them to the best of their ability. If physicians are unsure of a situation, they should step back and think through the perspective of their patients. This technique will go a long way towards establishing and maintaining a beneficial doctor-patient relationship.  You should find the right specialist for your healthcare concerns.

Consult your healthcare provider for more information about the right type of specialist for you. Book an appointment with a top general physician in Lahore, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is among the Best General Physicians in Lahore. Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, healthy diet, and lifestyle.
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