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CLAIMS Rx DIRECTORY


RISK MANAGEMENT PUBLICATION

Medical Assistants: Strategies for Increasing Patient Safety and Reducing Liability Risk

June 2022

Medical assistants can increase medical practice efficiency, patient satisfaction, and patient care quality, which can in turn, reduce malpractice liability risk. On the other hand, medical assistants can increase the risk that their supervising physicians and employers will be brought into a malpractice lawsuit. The case studies in this article are derived from professional liability closed claims. The strategies that follow each case present a multi-modal risk reduction approach that includes using tools to define and contain medical assistant duties; providing education on scope of service for medical assistants, supervising clinicians and physicians, and office managers; and reassessing medical assistant job duties and expertise as they expand and develop.

CASE ONE
Psychological Safety

CASE TWO
Vicarious Liability for Delegated Tasks

CASE THREE
Vigilance for Clinical Knowledge Deficits

CASE FOUR
Unchecked Autonomy

CASE FIVE
Providing Medical Advice

 

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