Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Who Needs Medical Malpractice Insurance?

The health information management (HIM) industry supports and protects:

  • The physicians and healthcare institutions that render patient care

  • The patient.

Patient documentation, however, is only as accurate as the data supplied by the healthcare provider. When anyone in the information chain -- dictating physician, medical transcriptionist, nurse, coder, biller-- fails to enter accurate data (or delivers data that is incomplete), chaos can ensue.

  • As a medical student, you may take pride in a prodigious ability to memorize facts and figures. But the further away you get from an event, the fuzzier its memory becomes.

  • Ask fellow colleagues who are married how easily they can remember their spouse's birthday (or their anniversary).

  • Ask your professional colleagues if they can remember what they ate for dinner ten nights ago.

  • Then ask yourself how accurately you will remember every detail of what transpired in the examining room between yourself and a patient some 5,000 office visits ago (especially when you are being asked this question by an aggressive trial attorney).

Because some people are especially eager to sue doctors, the cost of medical malpractice insurance should -- and will -- send shivers down your spine. One way to minimize your legal risk is to maximize your efficiency in documenting patient care by maintaining accurate medical records. Never forget that it is for your sake-- as well as the patient's sake -- that this work must be done.

Keeping track of all these piddly little details can drive a physician and his staff crazy. And yet the cost of maintaining highlyaccurate patient records (with transcribed chart notes) is often far less expensive than the cost of assuming a higher risk for medical malpractice as an insured party.

Consider the difference in medical malpractice insurance rates for the physician who maintains accurate, legible records as opposed to the doctor whose records are sloppy, incomplete, and frequently indecipherable.

Which rates would you prefer to pay?

Next: Building A Paper Trail

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1 comment:

mohammed said...

interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

medical transcriptionist