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5 Ways to Protect Your Healthcare Business

As the owner of a healthcare practice, you are likely all too aware of the high stakes and risks your business faces. Sometimes, your treatment can be the difference between a patient making a full recovery and continuing to suffer from injury or illness. And because of the nature of your business, you also realize the importance of protecting what you've built so you can continue to share your expertise and offer treatment to those who rely on you.

Unforeseeable accidents, damages, or disasters could impede or devastate your practice, and fortunately, your business insurance provides security against the elements outside of your control. However, there are additional measures you can put in place to further mitigate risks involved in your line of work. Keep reading to learn how you can take an active role in managing workplace risks and creating a safe environment for your patients and employees.

Risk Management Tips for Healthcare Business Owners

As a healthcare professional, you are probably familiar with the abundance of medical malpractice lawsuits. But there are other threats and risks that your business could face as well. For example, your employees could hurt themselves by operating faulty office equipment or by simply performing administrative tasks that lead to repetitive motion injuries. And the unfortunate truth is that it only takes one lawsuit brought by a disgruntled patient or injured employee to shut down even the best-run healthcare business.

To reduce the risk of accidents, oversights, and events outside of your control, consult this guide for five essential risk management tips for healthcare professionals.

Maintain patient confidentiality.

Maintain patient confidentiality.

Breach of patient confidentiality can be a major threat to your business — no matter how unintentional the breach may be. To minimize the risk of compromising your patient's privacy, be sure your office staff is aware that discussing patient information within earshot of other patients can breach patient confidentiality. You'll also want to educate your staff periodically to reinforce the necessity of protecting patients' information and never discussing their medical information outside of the office. You may want to consider having a confidentiality agreement that your staff signs annually, and setting up your office so that staff conversations cannot be overheard in the waiting area or lobby.

Reduce the risks associated with faulty office equipment.

Reduce the risks associated with faulty office equipment.

As more procedures are being performed in the practice setting and more physicians own or lease office equipment, malfunctioning office equipment can lead to patient, staff, or provider injury. As a preventative measure, you'll want to incorporate regular inspections of your medical office equipment into your overall risk management plan.

Be sure to properly train your staff on how to use office equipment, and include written instructions on how to use and maintain the equipment. Additionally, you may consider tagging patient equipment to reflect the inspection date, the initials of the inspector, and the due date of the next inspection. Another wise move is to insure your medical equipment against damage, theft, or malfunction under your business's Property Insurance policy.

Protect your employees.

Protect your employees.

In the healthcare business, your employees are susceptible to slips, physical strain, and possible contact with hazardous material. Be sure to help protect your employees by conducting regular training sessions on proper lifting and carrying techniques should your staff need to lift patients or heavy office equipment. It's imperative that all staff members are properly trained on how to handle and safely dispose of hazardous or contaminated materials and supplies. Also, if your employees work at the computer, ergonomic office furniture and equipment can combat the risk of physical strain and repetitive motion injuries.

Depending on the state where your business is located, you may be required to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance for your employees as well. This coverage kicks in if one of your employees is injured at work or suffers a work-related illness. Workers' Comp can save your business from paying for medical expenses related to the work injury or illness and can provide funding to defend your business in court if your employee decides to sue. Your insureon agent can tell you what your state laws require and help you determine whether this coverage is appropriate for your practice.

Be proactive and encourage your patients to speak up.

Be proactive and encourage your patients to speak up.

Though there's no telling what a patient may or may not do in response to a medical misstep, you can potentially avoid a malpractice claim by being proactive about what happened. In the event of a healthcare accident that harms the patient, immediately inform your patient of the mistake, offer a sincere apology, and take any course correction steps to help the patient. You may even offer a reimbursement or a settlement depending on the situation and your patient's response.

Another way to help deter the risk of a malpractice lawsuit is to give your patient an active role in their healthcare. Encourage them to openly discuss their medical history, and let them know that their involvement can influence the success of their treatment. This kind of awareness leads to making healthcare decisions with your patient, rather than for your patient — a small, but important distinction. A patient informed about the benefits, costs, risks, and potential outcomes of the various diagnostic or therapeutic procedures is less likely to feel wronged if things don't turn out as you'd both hoped.

Know your policy.

Know your policy.

Each policy varies from carrier to carrier and comes with its own set of exclusions. That's why it's in your best interest to fully understand what your policies cover and what they do not. If you're concerned about your policy limits or that you don't have adequate coverage to meet your business protection needs, talk to an insureon agent today. We can help you with any questions you have about your policy and advise you on what coverage is appropriate for your healthcare practice.

Business Protection for Your Healthcare Practice

No matter your experience or the risk prevention measures you already have in place, even the most prepared business can be targets of a lawsuit. To give your healthcare business the added protection it needs to safely treat patients, contact an insureon agent today. We'll help you determine the coverage that fits your medical or therapeutic business needs.

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