Recently, I participated in the webinar sponsored by Drexel School of Nursing and AON, Affinity Insurance Services, Inc.
The program introduced the findings of the 2015 Nurse Claim Report. Closed claim reviews of professional liability and license protection was presented along with risk management expertise with registered nurses and practical/vocational nurses.
The goal of the program was to identify liability patterns and trends to help nurses understand their areas of greatest vulnerability and to take appropriate action to protect patients from harm and nurses from potential litigation.
The program was excellent and provided valuable information that all nurses can use to ensure they are practicing safely and are covered in case a legal action.
The takeaway for me was the importance of having your own individual malpractice policy to defend you if you are involved in a lawsuit or called before the State Board of Nursing on a complaint or an issue that you were involved.
Many of the lawsuits discussed were mistakes that occur when nurses are not paying attention to their organization’s policy, failure to report an incident, not following the chain of command or by being distracted while delivery medications which caused an error to occur where the wrong med/wrong dose/wrong patient occurred.
As a Licensed Registered Nurse, you are responsible for the work you do, and the defense of that work if you are called for a deposition, involved in a lawsuit or brought up on disciplinary charges by your State Board of Nursing. Having your own malpractice insurance (not depending on your employer’s policy) is critical for every nurse.
In closing, I urge each nurse (and other healthcare professionals) to please take the time to understand the risk management issues that impact your practice at the organizational level as well as the local, state and federal level. Ignorance is no excuse in a court of law, so be proactive and understand your scope of practice and responsibilities under your license or national certification.
I welcome your comments and insights into this issue. Please leave a comment in the comment box below.
Have a good week!