5 Key Considerations to Prevent Professional Negligence in A Claim or Lawsuit.

As regulated professionals, solo practitioners are directly accountable to clients. It is imperative to develop and maintain policies and procedures based on evidence, best practice guidelines, Professional standards and practice standards.

 

 

As a solo practitioner, you will have extensive professional expertise in the practice area related to your business. However, sometimes things can go wrong, even a single groundless claim against your practice can run into financial distress. Particularly problematic for solo practitioners who are the most likely to risk operating without malpractice coverage and also most likely not to have the financial resources to field this kind of expense if it does occur

  1. Make sure you practise within your scope of practice and individual competencies

Health care professionals may specialize in one or two areas.  While it can be tempting to undertake activities within your scope that are not within your individual competencies, if you are not fully competent in that area, you are laying yourself open to potential problems.

  1. Keep up to Date With your Practice

Number 1 is especially important if you’ve been practising for a long time and specializing in certain areas within your practice.  The alternative practice area you consider taking on could be very different now to when you learned about it.  So, make sure you keep up to date with anything connected to your practice, plus anything that you are thinking of adding to your services.

  1. Take Responsibility

As a regulated professional and business owner, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the operation of your practice supports the best outcomes for your clients. What this means is that if you or someone working on behalf of your business makes a mistake that harms a client, you are responsible and could find yourself facing legal consequences.

Ensure you have robust systems and procedures in place to guard against malpractice.

  1. Set Expectations via Consent

Make sure that you are transparent, thoughtful, and realistic in your communications with clients to avoid any misunderstanding.  Communicate from the start possible outcomes and ensure that your client and their family have realistic expectations.  A common cause of malpractice suits is failure to communicate clearly with clients and effectively set realistic expectations. When you think about it: if a client thinks that you have guaranteed a positive outcome that doesn’t occur, they may think you made a mistake, and you might find yourself in court for the wrong reasons.

Even claims that don’t have validity could be expensive, time-consuming and damaging to your reputation.

  1. Be accountable at all times

Everybody makes mistakes. However careful you are to avoid any mistakes; they are still going to happen from time to time.

Making sure you have adequate systems in place to minimize consequences and protect your clients, is a must.

Don’t ever be tempted to hide or cover a mistake and have that ethos as part of your private practice ever!

Remember, professional Practice is Good PracticeHaving the right professional liability insurance and business insurance is essential for protection.  The element of awareness and procedures in place to avoid malpractice claims are an essential part of your professional practice.

Disclaimer: This information is provided in an attempt to heighten sensitivity, increase awareness, and enhance judgments on this topic. We encourage our audience to contact their legal advisor and regulatory body to learn more. CompanyOn does not represent or speak on behalf of any regulatory body. 

At CompanyOn, we’re committed to supporting our community of solo practitioners, no matter where they are in pursuing professional independence. If you are interested in a particular topic you would like us to discuss, please let us know at [email protected].

Related Resources:

British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives

College of Nurse of Ontario

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta

College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba

Canadian Nurses Association

Canadian Nurses Protective Society

Canadian Association of Foot Care Nurses

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