Some of the most common claims against optometrists are easily preventable. Read on to learn to protect your practice from malpractice claims and the risks associated with them.
Avoid these Malpractice Claims for Optometrists
Unfortunately, every practice is exposed to risk and has the potential of litigation brought against them. Some of the most common claims against optometrist practices include:
- Poor Record Keeping – Incomplete documentation is a primary target in malpractice litigation. Institute proper documentation processes in your practice to ensure that your records are always complete.
- Forgetting Informed Consent Documentation – As with all professionals in the healthcare-related industries, always receive the proper informed consent documentation from a patient before performing a test or procedure. Missing this documentation opens you up to malpractice claims.
- Lack of Pupil Dilation – When optometrists choose not to dilate the pupil when necessary in an examination, they may find themselves at risk of a lawsuit. Dilation itself rarely causes liability claims. It can result in injuries from slip-and-fall accidents that occur in the office or on the premises. Always warn patients of the side effects of dilation and provide mydriatic sunglasses.
- Misdiagnosis – Rushing to a diagnosis or giving the wrong diagnosis, is an easy way to bring a lawsuit against your practice. If ever unsure, order specialized tests or get a second opinion from a specialist.
- Improper Client Termination/Referral – If a patient wishes to terminate their relationship with your practice or switch providers, it is a practitioner’s responsibility to give care until the patient is officially terminated or referred to another optometrist. Always document the process thoroughly.
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