The Texas Medical Board (TMB) receives over 7,000 complaints every year. Complaints are filed by patients, patients' family members, health care professionals, and other sources. All complaints are treated seriously, and all complaints filed with the TMB are investigated.
Precautionary Measures to Help Avoid Facing a Compliant from the Texas Medical Board
You have worked for years to earn your medical license in Texas. Any allegation of misconduct filed against you could put your license, reputation, and career are on the line. The most desirable course of action is to avoid ever facing a complaint against you with the TMB.
- Actively listen to your patients. Patients who feel heard and have their concerns addressed may be less likely to file a complaint with the medical board.
- Hear out your unhappy patients. If a patient approaches you with a complaint, understand that he or she wants to be heard by you, and wants to be taken seriously.
- Some complaints can be avoided simply by exercising good communication practices with your patients. An inadvertent breakdown in communication can lead to complaints, and even if meritless, are serious and must be dealt with appropriately.
Be available to your patients:
- Follow up with your patients, especially if there is an unresolved issue.
- Return phone calls and emails in a reasonable time. If your response time is long, offer an apology when you finally do speak with your patient or his/her family.
- Being available to your patients and their families is one way to reduce the likelihood of them filing a TMB complaint against you.
Documents your thought process and decision making:
- In addition to properly maintaining your patients' files, make sure you document your thought process on how you arrived at your diagnosis. Make copious notes about what the patient's condition likely is based on what he or she told you, any tests or labs you ran, and observations you made.
- Document all that you discussed with the patient, including diagnosis made, any warning signs or risks you discussed, orders given for follow up, consultations, or testing, and patient instructions.
Establish standards of conduct for your office staff:
- Ensure that your staff is properly trained in how to help your patients and how to properly interact with them. Your patients are coming to you because they need medical care, make sure they are greeted with friendly and helpful staff.
- Ensure all members of your staff are aware of the office policies as well as all regulatory requirements to which they must adhere.
- It is not uncommon for complaints with the TMB to be due to actions taken (or not taken) by the medical practice's staff. Ensuring your staff understands their obligations and relevant regulations helps to reduce the likelihood of a patient lodging a complaint against you with the TMB.
When You Need an Experienced Medical License Defense Attorney
Taking precautionary measures may mean you are less likely to face a complaint and ensuing investigation from the TMB. However, no matter how careful or meticulous you are, someone may still file a complaint against you.
If the TMB notifies you of a complaint, we urge you to contact us without hesitation. Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced medical license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case.
The attorneys of BERTOLINO LLP are experienced TMB License Defense Attorneys and we know how to navigate the TMB's enforcement process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.
With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve clients all over the state. As experienced attorneys, well-versed in state and federal laws, we know how to win. Our results speak for themselves.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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