As a Texas physician, receiving notice of a complaint made against your license can cause you to feel burdened by a great deal of stress. The process of schooling, training, and licensure through which physicians like yourself go to achieve your professional positions lasts for years, and its difficulty is legendary. All the effort you undertook to do so much good for your fellow human beings can be put at significant risk with the filing of a single complaint alleging malpractice.
As such, it is imperative that the process of decision making that you take in determining the diagnoses you give your patients is assiduously documented. This includes the proper entry of information into any electronic health records. The only fields in these that should be pre-populated are name, date of birth, and other basic factual identifying information—as any evidence of cut-and-paste elements concerning diagnosis or prescription for care that have not been personalized to the patient can be seen as an indication of less than the proper standard of care.
And it should be noted that this is actually what the investigators and the Board will be looking for: not so much whether any individual patient has come to harm, but whether the physician has performed his duties in a way that violates the standard of care—which, as you are undoubtedly aware, is exceptionally high for physicians. This is because the Board considers it to be in the interest of the public that no patient is ever harmed by negligence; therefore, a tendency to be negligent as evidenced in record-keeping, may be viewed as a strike against a physician’s license. Among the 7000 complaints the Texas Medical Board processes on an annual basis, all are approached by the Board from a prosecutorial standpoint. This is to say the Board takes the side of the public against the physicians who have been complained about. And every complaint is investigated—at least to the point of determining that the Board has jurisdiction over the matter at issue.
Even if you firmly believe that you do not deserve the complaint made against you, you should take it very seriously. This is not something to ignore and hope it goes away. Instead, if you are facing disciplinary action, whether for failure to properly document or for any other reason, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced professional license attorney to improve your chance of a positive outcome.
Physician License Defense Attorneys
BERTOLINO LLP handles matters related to licensure, grievance complaints, ethics, and other important professional licensing issues. If you have received a licensing complaint, BERTOLINO LLP can help. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.