Here are four (4) proactive strategies any licensed professional can implement to help avoid license board complaints.
Actively listen to the people you serve.
Whether you are a health care practitioner serving the needs of patients, a real estate agent helping a client buy a first home, or another licensed professional who serves customers, active listening skills can help you avoid complaints. People who feel heard may be less likely to file a complaint.
When possible, address the concerns of the people you serve.
This goes hand-in-hand with active listening. People who feel heard and have their concerns addressed may be less likely file a complaint. Also, apologies go a long way. However, be very careful when addressing concerns. You do not want to inadvertently admit fault, which could be used as evidence by a Board.
Respond to people in a timely fashion.
Make it a point to respond to clients, customers, or patients within a reasonable amount of time. Depending on your industry, perhaps an internal policy that you will respond within a certain number of business day is appropriate. In some situations, sending a quick email stating that you will respond with more information soon is appropriate. Be mindful of specific rules your licensing board may have regarding communications or responding to requests. For example, the Texas Medical Board has strict rules on providing patient’s medical records once requested.
Keep good records.
If your licensing board has rules about what records to produce and how to maintain them, then make sure to adhere to those rules. Notably Texas doctors, nurses, other licensed health care professionals, and lawyers have specific rules on record maintenance. Regardless of your industry, it is always good business practice to maintain adequate records in an organized way. Having some notes about a job or a work order may become valuable evidence to dispute allegations made against you with your licensing board.
The fact is that regardless of how careful and meticulous you are, no matter how deeply you understand the rules of your profession, a complaint may still be lodged against you. If that has happened to you, we are always here to help.