They say that prevention is the best medicine, and this has never been truer than when it comes to professional liability concerns for dentists. Preventing situations where a claim can be made for malpractice or negligence should be a priority for all practicing physicians. Risk management practices are not only beneficial for the patient, but will be a valuable aid for the dentist as well. Comprehensive risk management training, online courses, plus a few basic tips may help to reduce the likelihood of an expensive dental malpractice claim.

Atlanta Insurance for dentists, as well as other professionals, which relieves you of some of the financial burdens related to malpractice suits, is a vital and necessary product to have. But dentists, as well as doctors, should strive to engender patient satisfaction in every aspect of their practice, because unhappy or dissatisfied patients are more likely to file claims when they feel the services rendered are not up to par.

Ways to improve dentist/patient relationships

Every dentist can benefit by ensuring that their patient has reasonable expectations concerning treatment outcome before they begin to render any care. It is important to perform thorough examinations and document findings, including all negative findings of periodontal, oral cancer, and TMJ examinations. Inform patients of untoward events or bad outcomes and do not attempt to conceal any information.

Obtain adequate medical and dental histories on all patients and update them regularly.
Retain complete, accurate, and unaltered records, including all pertinent diagnostics.
Document in the patient’s dental record the receipt of written or oral patient authorization when a copy of a portion, or all of the dental record, is released from the office.

Document the receipt of informed consent in the patient’s dental record each and every time an informed consent discussion takes place, as well as the receipt of informed refusal for any treatment recommendation refused by the patient. Before sending any account to collection, make sure to carefully review the patient’s treatment outcomes, attitude, and level of satisfaction, including the accuracy and completeness of all record keeping.

Finally, when terminating a doctor-patient relationship, send the patient a letter that states the relationship is ending and provide the patient with information about treatment needs, access to emergency care, finding another dentist, and obtaining a copy of the patient record. When selecting a malpractice insurer, be certain your Atlanta Insurance company has a strong risk management program in place.