How to Avoid Lawsuits in a Dental Practice
Just because your dental practice is running smoothly doesn’t mean sales will always keep on coming. Running a dental business probably means that you have other people working for you. Which translates to you being fully responsible for the actions that your dentist partners and associates make. As a reminder, always be on the look out on how your dental practice is running, and what is being done at all times of the day.
Have you ever experienced one of these?
* The patient is ready to have surgery, but when you walk into the room, you find that your assistant performed a procedure without the required supervision.
* You notice your patient talking to your assistant. You don’t mind this, but then you realize that they are giving the patient recommendations with regards to the treatment they are supposed to receive. But your assistant has provided the wrong answer and has recommended the wrong procedure.
* Your staff submits insurance forms but they are submitted with the wrong medical codes.
* You have charged your patient for a treatment or a procedure that was not even completed.
* One of your staff members has performed the wrong produce. Now, you are faced with a malpractice lawsuit.
If you answered yes to any of the above experiences, then you know what it is to own your dental practice. Although you can say that in this kind of industry, there is no room for mistakes, sooner or later, you will have to experience one of these events in your career. It is important to be aware of what to expect in your practice. Not to mention, you have to be ready for the consequences.
What is a Vicarious Liability?
A dentist position requires you to be on guard and this position of authority will always have strings attached. The moment you, your partner, associates, or assistants make a mistake, you have to be liable for the consequences. In other words, a vicarious liability is your legal responsibility the moment one party has to be accountable for the other party’s actions. This applies to whoever is in authority in a business. Truth is, in the dental practice, a dentist can be held liable for a laboratory technician who is even beyond your control.
Requirements for Vicarious Liability
There are three things you need to consider if you are caught in an unfortunate situation.
1. Your employee’s action/s serve/s the employer, and that’s you.
2. Always take note of the action for it may not be outside of your scope of employment.
3. There are instances where the patient may have a belief which may bring the action to be your responsibility.
Above all, although dentists are responsible for their employees’ actions, there has to be a vicarious liability that is established. Always look on the legal jurisdictions in order to keep your dental practice running smoothly.