Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pushing the Legal Limit

The act of having one physician dictate for another is often looked upon as a convenience rather than a legal matter. Sometimes the situation gets dangerously out of hand.
Recently, a doctor on staff at a major teaching hospital kept asking transcriptionists to put another doctor's name on the reports he was dictating. Concerned about the potential liability, the manager at a transcription agency doing his work sought professional guidance. She was quickly informed that what the doctor was requesting constituted falsification of medical records.

In other words, it was a felony.

When this agency's transcriptionists refused to play along, the dictating doctor tried to fool the transcriptionists by vocally identifying himself as another physician. But, because the transcriptionists all knew and recognized his voice, they would routinely put his name on the reports he dictated.

As they should.

When a physician tells someone to do something that is illegal, he is jeopardizing the other person's legal status as well as his own. The mere fact that he is a physician does not make something legal. Instructing someone else to perform an illegal act might prove to be quite convenient for a physician. However, the issue at hand is one of liability rather than convenience.
One should never be mistaken for the other.

Next: Violating Patient Confidentiality

[Table of Contents] [Cartoons]
[Home] [Exercises] [Worksheets]

No comments: