Bedside mannerAs a physician, you know that it is important to cover your liabilities. When practicing, you expose yourself to risks. These risks could lead to medical malpractice claims against you or your practice.

That’s why you always need to provide your patients with the most thorough care possible. A failure to do so could cost you a malpractice insurance claim.

A way to reduce your malpractice insurance liability risks is to provide exemplary service. Part of that service should include the attention you give your patients.

This attention is your bedside manner. A proper bedside manner can help a physician put the patient at ease. It can also help you pick up on potential problems, and catch mistakes before you make them.

Take the following precautions to make sure that your bedside manner is the best:

  • Review your patient’s history before you visit with him or her. That way, you can walk into an examination already armed with information.
  • Once you are with the patient, review their history again. Remember to ask about what medications a patient takes and any new problems. The patient might help you pick up on any mistakes in the history.
  • Be courteous, friendly and make eye contact with the patient. Don’t use body language that could make a patient uncomfortable.
  • Take note of a patient’s special needs. For example, a patient may not hear well or see well. Employ techniques that will make sure the two of you understand each other. Describe to a blind patient how you will examine him or her. Position yourself so that a deaf patient can read your lips.
  • Don’t rush patients or disregard their concerns. Take the time to understand any and all problems.
  • Focus, and give the patient your undivided attention. Sometimes, even things a patient may not consider important are actually a clue for you.
  • Ensure that you are respectful of the patient’s space and privacy.
  • Explain to a patient how you examine them and any tests you do.
  • Never, ever start an exam, treatment or medication change without the patient’s consent. Make sure the patient or his or her guardian clearly understands what is happening.

Perhaps most importantly, be reassuring, and never judge a patient. A patient should know he or she can trust the doctor. This can help the two of you build a bond of understanding that helps a patient all the way through treatment.

When the need for malpractice coverage arises, the Joseph A. Britton Agency can help. Explore our website to learn more about our coverage options. Give us a call at (908) 654-6464 for more information.
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