3 ways hospital leaders can cut risk of doc misconduct accusations

Hospital leaders must have a plan if providers or physicians are accused of misconduct. But they can also reduce the risk in the first place, according to a MedPageToday article.

Leaders must tackle accusations of misconduct head-on, write William Sullivan and Judith Tintinalli, M.D., both editors for Emergency Physicians Monthly. To drive down the likelihood of such a situation, they recommend hospitals:

  • Have chaperones present during sensitive examinations: In addition to making it difficult to falsely accuse a physician, the use of chaperones can help put patients at ease, Tintinalli and Sullivan write, particularly if two chaperones are present. In such cases, the medical records should reflect the names or initials of any chaperons present, and if the chaperone is a nurse, they should create their own record of the exam.
  • Create privacy without isolating the patient and doctor: Hospitals should take steps such as pulling curtains or leaving doors open an inch. This creates a private atmosphere without cutting the patient off from third parties should they need help.
  • Give uneasy patients the choice to opt out: In cases where a sensitive exam is necessary to address the patient's medical problem, providers should give the patient the option to sign an informed refusal acknowledging he or she understands the risks, ideally with a witness to the signing.

To learn more:
- read the article