by Janine Revill ACII
Cosmetic Insure is a specialist provider of insurance products and services specifically designed for providers of non-surgical treatments.
Janine provides her insight into how to avoid claims. She explains:
“Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid complaints, claims or mistakes completely. It is inevitable that things will occasionally go wrong.”
“An increasing culture of blame and compensation encourages patients to complain even when there has been no obvious error.”
“However, there are things that practitioners and clinic managers can do to mitigate and minimise the risk of being faced with a complaint or claim. There are some simple risk management tips that anyone can adopt to help protect themselves, and here are our top five.
1. Good Record Keeping
“Good record-keeping is essential. Claims can be made a significant time after treatment, especially where a side effect or problem is not apparent immediately. If there is no documentary evidence to prove that you acted competently or advised properly of the risks involved in treatment, how can you and your insurance company defend the allegation?
“Wherever possible, keep notes of all patient consultations, telephone conversations and correspondence. Make sure you can read your notes so that they can be relied on later.
“If a complaint or claim has been made against you, never destroy, re-write or alter your records. Even if this was done innocently, it will bring your honesty and integrity into question.
“If a dispute comes down to your word against the patients, the Court will often give the patient the benefit of the doubt because the events are likely to be a memorable ‘one-off’ for the patient but an everyday task for the cosmetic practitioner.
2. Manage your patient’s expectations
“Be clear about issues such as the potential risks of a cosmetic procedure, side-effects, best and worst case outcomes and time frames for recovery. It is surprising how often a patient is entitled to compensation after experiencing a perfectly normal side-effect simply because he or she was not properly warned about it.
“Wherever possible, give your patient a note of the risks to keep. It is more difficult for a patient to allege that he or she was not properly advised if you can show that you gave that information in writing as well as in consultation.
3. Training is key
“Make sure your technical skills and knowledge are kept up-to-date, and give your staff regular training as appropriate. Certain cosmetic procedures or products quickly become out-dated, and where a less risky alternative becomes available for patients it can be difficult to justify using an older method or product.
4. Learn from experience
“Review your practice’s processes regularly, including your administrative procedures, to see if they are still effective to minimise the risk of errors or complaints. This is especially important if you have been unlucky enough to receive a complaint or claim. While not all risks can be identified in advance, the experience of the complaint can shed light on where your procedures could be strengthened.
“Tap into the experience of your peers and your professional advisers. Even an informal chat can help you to identify any problem areas. Industry publications are often useful in highlighting risks that you had not previously considered.
5. Have a clear procedure for handling complaints
“This helps to ensure that any complaints that do arise are dealt with at the right time by the right person. Make sure all your staff know the procedure and that it is easily available to your patients too.
“It may seem counter-intuitive to tell your clients how to complain about you, but it can help to prevent your patient going to a lawyer before you have had a chance to resolve the problem yourself.”
Botox & Fillers Training
SkinViva Training Academy is a major provider of cosmetic treatment courses for practitioners. The company welcomes better regulation of the industry and work to further higher standards among practitioners through quality training courses.
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Botox and Fillers Training Manchester
SkinViva Training Academy offers a comprehensive range of aesthetic treatment training courses for medical professionals such as suitably qualified and registered medical professionals who wish to learn and build on their skills in delivering these procedures. For more information, please feel to browse our latest availability.
SkinViva Training Academy was established by Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP in 2013 after he set upSkinViva in 2008 – an aesthetic treatment business which now covers the North West of England.
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