lawsuit prevention

FYI from an immigration attorney: A quick important note for everyone celebrating right now; the judge’s order does NOT apply to people outside the USA who are being turned around at airports and not getting on a plane. So there are tons of people abroad still, people who had valid visas or who were permanent residents with green cards, who are still trapped abroad and cannot return. The lawsuit to prevent that hasn’t been filed yet, to my knowledge, but it’s coming. And it will hopefully have as much early success.
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We have to continue fighting for them. #resist

anonymous asked:

I'm a medical student in the uk and i've heard lots of stories from doctors who've been in the usa that the doctors over there are more likely to push patients towards having possibly unnecessary/excessive tests and procedures becasue they get more money for it. i'm sure you don't do that because you seem very honest and caring, but do you think that does happen?

Yes…sort of. 

Doctors in the US often practice defensive medicine, which basically consists of ordering sometimes superfluous tests or blood work in order to prevent a lawsuit or back up your thought process in a lawsuit. Suits can be so expensive and devastating here that we get scared of them and let them dictate how we practice. 

Now there are also doctors that benefit directly from the tests they order. Patients tend to love seeing doctors who do all their labs and procedures in the same building. It’s just convenient. You may see orthopedists with MRI scanners in their offices or internists with mammography machines and DEXA scanners and X ray capabilities. To some extent, this helps make things easier on your patient. But it can also form some conflict of interest. If you have easy access to a test, the decision to order it becomes easier. In some of these practices, the partners collect proceeds directly from these tests. 

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My office doesn’t follow such a system. I try really hard to not practice defensive medicine and not order tests that won’t change my management of the patient. I have recently talked with a potential job that has lots of lab and test capabilities where the docs get bonuses based on their ordering of tests, and even the conversation made me feel dirty. I just don’t like it. It’s sketchy to me. 

Nerdy Fact #1619: At the end of the Deadpool movie, the title character fights Ajax on top of a partially disassembled helicarrier visually similar to the ones used by S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a direct nod to the MCU, though FOX Studios requested that flying aircraft look different enough to prevent a lawsuit from Disney.


anonymous asked:

What forms of asset protection are there to protect your personal assets in the case of a malpractice lawsuit? What ways are there to prevent a malpractice lawsuit? How do you deal with the stress of knowing that there is a high likelihood of facing a malpractice suit, even if no malpractice was committed?

Asset protection is something you should discuss with a malpractice insurance carrier or a financial advisor or accountant, not me, because I have no assets and I know nothing of such things. 

Ways for preventing malpractice lawsuits:

  • Don’t be a doctor. Seriously. 75% of physicians in low risk specialties will be sued at least once in their careers, and it goes up to 99% for those in high risk specialties. If you don’t want to ever be sued, don’t practice medicine. 
  • Be nice. Patients are less likely to sue doctors that they like, even if something goes wrong.
  • Be a good doctor. Stay up to date on standards of care and current guidelines. 
  • Be a good communicator. Many perceived wrongs or errors could be avoided with good communication between doctor and staff or doctor and patient. Make sure your patients understand your instructions, their conditions, their procedures, and their drugs. 
  • Document, document, document. All documentation should be thorough. It may save your butt or a patient’s life one day. If you talked about risks and benefits of XYZ, document it. If a patient refuses a screening test or medication, talk to them about the consequences and document it. Your documentation will remember things that you won’t be able to remember a year from now.
  • Don’t drop the ball. Don’t forget to follow up on that abnormal lab or get the report on that stat chest x-ray. In a busy practice, it’s easy to forget. Make sure your practice has a system in place for making sure things don’t slip through the cracks. 
  • Know your patient. Review their med lists and charts to make sure you’re not causing their problems with the meds you prescribe. Know their allergies before starting something new. Know major interactions and side effects they’ve had. Know their conditions and how they will interact with each other. 
  • Be compassionate. Show your patient that you care about what happens to them. Often they will forgive adverse outcomes if they know you had their best interests in mind.
  • Acknowledge your mistakes and don’t repeat them. Most states have laws that allow doctors to apologize for adverse outcomes and not let their statements be held against them in malpractice suits. But in many cases, all a patient wants to hear is “I’m sorry. I made a mistake. We didn’t mean for XYZ to happen.”

How to deal with worrying about being sued:

I never worried about being sued until I got sued. Then I worried about it all the time for a while. Now I’m back to not worrying about it much, but it has definitely changed the way I practice.

Avoid the temptation to practice defensive medicine. Doctors get sued whether they did the useless CT scan or not. So don’t waste resources doing unnecessary tests.

Work on documenting well. I can’t stress this enough. My documentation and that of the nurses who worked with me is what proved that we followed standard of care and national guidelines to a T in my case. It gave me peace of mind because I was able to look back and know that I did exactly what I was supposed to do in the situation and that there was nothing I could have done to anticipate or prevent the outcome that happened.

Constantly push yourself to be a better doctor. Read more. Learn from past mistakes and don’t repeat them. Strive to deliver high quality care to your patients. 

Accept it when it comes. This is why we have malpractice insurance. I’m not going to lie: being sued SUCKS. Big time. It’s miserable. It makes you feel like total garbage, even if you did absolutely nothing wrong. You kick yourself for not being able to prevent a bad outcome, or you feel guilty for actually screwing something up if you did mess up. But there’s really no avoiding it sometimes. You hope for the best and move on when it’s over.