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How medical professionals can lower their liability

Medical professionals in Colorado and throughout the country may be placed in a tough spot when it comes to prescribing medication. If they pick the wrong medication or prescribe the wrong does, it could result in patient harm. However, failing to prescribe any medication at all could lead to speculation that a doctor isn't meeting a patient's needs either. In either scenario, a doctor could face a malpractice lawsuit.

To avoid a lawsuit, it is a good idea to never refill a pain medication prescription over the phone. Ideally, patients should come to the office for a visit prior to having a prescription renewed for another 90 days. In some cases, it may be best to send a patient to a specialist as opposed to renewing a pain pill prescription. Another good way to reduce liability is to document every decision that could be deemed a judgment call.

Proper documentation can show what a doctor saw and what facts were used when prescribing a narrow antibiotic as opposed to a broader one. If patients will not talk openly about their medical conditions, think carefully about prescribing medications. A doctor is not required to treat a patient right away unless he or she is in immediate danger. Medical professionals should also be wary of individuals who won't let them speak with their other treatment providers.

If a patient is harmed by a doctor's lack of judgment, that person may be entitled to compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, a doctor's error doesn't always rise to the level of malpractice. This may be true if a physician doesn't have the tools needed to make a proper diagnosis. If a patient withholds information that could have led to the proper diagnosis, a doctor may be absolved of liability.

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