5 Ways to Avoid Allegations of Patient Abuse

Allegations of patient abuse arise when patients contend that the physician violated the professional boundaries for the physician-patient relationship. Boundary violations in this context imply physician behavior that seems to exploit a patient either sexually, financially, or emotionally. Here are a few ways to help avoid such allegation risks and foster a respectful physician-patient relationship.

  1. Develop and nurture a caring, respectful relationship with patients
  2. Include chaperones or additional caregivers during certain examinations or procedures
  3. Show empathy for the patient
  4. Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences
  5. Present a willingness to explain the reasons for recommended treatments

Visit Patient Conflict FAQs for more information.

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Misinterpretation of CT Scan Delays Stroke Diagnosis
Case Study

A misread CT scan and a lack of communication between providers delays a 54-year-old woman’s stroke diagnosis, which contributed to the patient's outcome.

What went wrong?
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A Net to Catch Patients at Risk of Falling Through the Cracks

Harvard’s teaching hospitals unite to catch patients “falling through the cracks” in the day-to-day effort to diagnose cancer. Ambulatory Safety Nets use the EHR to create registries of patients who do not follow up on abnormal test results, and human navigators to reach out to them.

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Telehealth Gone Wrong? Not After These Videos


In line with our “Navigating Virtual Care Challenges” webinar on March 14, here's a video series produced by Candello and TDC (The Doctor's Company). Telehealth expert, David L. Feldman, MD, FACS, speaks to clinicians and administrators about telehealth challenges and what not to do in virtual practice.

Watch the series
Characterizing Malpractice Cases

Using Candello data, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and CRICO patient safety experts evaluated available characteristics and financial costs of malpractice cases among advanced practice providers, trainees, and attending physicians, who practiced in the emergency department.

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Check out these patient safety topics.
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