There are numerous common claims optometrists face, and they can vary greatly in severity and damage.
Read on to learn about some of the common claims optometrists face and how you can protect your practice against them.
Common Claims Optometrists Face — Malpractice-related claims
As a medical professional, there is always a chance of a malpractice claim. Some of the most common claims optometrists face are malpractice claims, including:
- Poor record keeping — A lack of documentation can not only lead to missed diagnoses, incomplete referrals, missed follow-ups, and missing informed consent documentation, it can also hurt your case defending against these and other malpractice claims.
- Forgetting informed consent documentation — Claims where an injury results from care often focus on whether informed consent was obtained and documented as required. Like all professionals in healthcare-related fields, informed consent must be obtained before tests, procedures and treatments. Missing the documentation of informed consent opens you up to malpractice claims.
- Lack of pupil dilation — Optometrists who choose not to dilate the pupil during an examination may be at increased risk of a lawsuit, because a lack of pupil dilation can increase the chance of missing pathology or making an incorrect diagnosis.
- Misdiagnosis — The most common claim facing optometrists has to do with a failure to correctly diagnose a disease, including misdiagnosis and lack of a diagnosis. Many other types of malpractice claims will begin from a failure to diagnose claim.
- Improper client termination/referral — If a patient wishes to terminate their relationship with your practice or switch providers, it is the practitioner’s responsibility to give care until the patient is officially terminated or referred to another optometrist.
Common Claims Optometrists Face — Business-related claims
- Unsafe office environment — Practice owners are required by law to provide a safe environment for their patients and employees, as defined by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Claims of slips, trips and falls and other third-party injuries can be common at your brick and mortar.
- Employment-related claims — As an employer, your optometry practice faces the risk of one day being sued by a current or former employee. Claims can include wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, breach of contract and more.
- Cyber attacks — As technology use continues to integrate into the daily operations of optometrists, reports of cyber-attacks are growing. Malware, ransomware, phishing and other breaches are becoming common place for small business owners and health care providers.
Protecting Against the Common Claims Optometrists Face
Lockton Affinity partnered with the American Optometric Association more than a decade ago to meet the insurance needs of doctors of optometry by offering:
- Leading Malpractice insurance
- Coverage options for individual or group practice
- Customer service representatives with industry knowledge
- Risk management resources to prevent claims
- Easy account maintenance and more