Q&A: If you write it down, check it out

September 5, 2008

When making notes in a patient's record, I often indicate possible conditions that might be worth checking out. But a colleague says that could invite malpractice trouble. Is he right?

Q: When making notes in a patient's record, I often indicate possible conditions that might be worth checking out. But a colleague says that could invite malpractice trouble. Is he right?

A: It could if you fail to follow up with the proper tests for those conditions. Then a plaintiff's lawyer could more easily convince a jury that you were negligent. So take whatever steps are necessary to rule out any possibilities you list, and be sure to make detailed notes about your actions, as well as the results.