No oral surgeon wants to be sued…and no oral surgeon certainly doesn't want to lose any assets because of a malpractice lawsuit. However, malpractice lawsuits are unfortunately not uncommon, and therefore, your surgery might be more at risk than you think. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 15% of Tort cases involving a bench or jury trial were medical malpractice cases…with 5% of those cases involving dentists and oral surgeons. Eek! Keep reading if this has got you feeling a liiiittttle worried...
One of the best methods of preventing malpractice lawsuits is to make sure clinicians and staff maintain consistent documentation of patient care.
What might cause a malpractice lawsuit for oral surgeons?
Before we dive into how to protect your practice from a malpractice lawsuit, we need to first understand some of the common causes a patient may file a malpractice suit in the first place. Below is a list of the most common dental malpractice lawsuit causes:
- Improper Tooth Extraction
- Failure to Diagnose Conditions (e.g. TMJ, Oral Cancer)
- Failure to Properly Treat Complications (e.g. infection)
- Failure to properly supervise actions of practice employees
- Wrongfully administered anesthesia
- Lack of Informed Consent
Defending Against a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit
One of the most vital defenses in a dental malpractice case is ensuring proper documentation. Your practice needs to have the patient’s dental record displaying a clear timeline of events, future treatment plans, and any important communication between clinician and patient.
Comprehensive documentation can also include, but is not limited to:
- A copy of the written informed consent for any procedures that were done
- A clear patient history record
- A clear treatment plan, including documentation explaining the reason for any treatment
- Notes written during, or shortly thereafter, the patient’s treatment
In a dental malpractice case, multiple people (lawyers, judges, other clinicians) will examine the documentation. Missing information, inconsistencies, or unclear documentation will cause trouble for the defense.
How an Electronic Medical Record Software Can Help Prevent Malpractice Lawsuits
Based on the information in the section above, proper documentation plays a pivotal role in dental malpractice defense cases. This is where having a top of the line Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software can protect your oral surgery practice.
EMR software, like MaxilloSoft, is specifically designed to ensure patient and treatment documentation best practices are followed by all team members.
As an added benefit to using an EMR software, you will eliminate wasteful paper while streamlining the amount of time it takes to document a patient’s history, treatment, and informed consent plans.
Furthermore, MaxilloSoft’s oral surgery practice management software can be tailored to fit your practice’s needs. Eliminate mistakes and streamline documentation by having MaxilloSoft recognize your most commonly used treatment plans, insurance billing codes, and patient recording practices.
Learn More About MaxilloSoft's Malpractice Prevention
MaxilloSoft can save you tens of thousands of dollars by helping protect your oral surgery practice from malpractice lawsuits. Book a free demo of our software today to learn more.