Protect yourself from risks

25 02 2010

Thursday morning’s half-day courses included one titled “Risk Management: Protect Yorself” and featured experts in law, insurance and dental practice.

Michael Terrell of the Cincinnati Insurance Company offered valuable advice on making sure you and your practice are covered against a variety of risks — some most docs may not think of until it’s too late. Dr. John Hayskar gave advice on helping make your your practice eliminate risks involved with OSHA requirements, while Dr. John Green, an attorney and dentist, sharerd some of his expertise in “Defending the Dental Profession.”

Among Terrell’s advice were ways to make sure record keeping errors are avoided and that all the necessary discussions and treatment plans are well documented. A big topic throughout the lecture was oral cancer, whether dealing with failures to diagnose or how to handle the situations in which the patient is found to have some form of cancer. “If you do an exam and see something, do something about this,” Terrell said.

He also said communicating ell with your patients can lessen the risk of lawsuits, while adding that while dealing with informed consent, the doctor should not delegate this to staff, rather handle the task themselves since the doctor is the one who is ultimately responsible.

Dr. Green offered suggestions on how to handle interviews with employees, how to make sure doctors working with implants and other potentially complex cases are covered in terms of training, as well as a number of libility issues that might not be on the top of the minds of dentists focused on delivering clinical care. Dr. Green established a law firm devoted exclusively to the representation of the dental proffesion. Dr. Green’s Web site (www.GreenLawOffice.net) offers additional information on his services.

Dr. Hayskar, who has a practice in Antioch, Ill, touched a lot on infection control and OSHA guidelines and suggested that practices visit http://www.osha.org if they’re not clear on the requirements and best methods to protect their practices and their staff.

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