Why These 6 Healthcare Professionals Need Malpractice Insurance

Updated on September 17, 2021
Medical malpractice insurance application with stethoscope.

In the healthcare industry, medical professionals are expected to exercise a reasonable standard of care when treating and taking care of patients. However, humans as they are, they’re still capable of committing errors in the practice of their professions, which may cause harm to their patients. Due to these circumstances, it’s crucial for them to acquire malpractice insurance coverage for their protection. 

Essentially, malpractice insurance refers to a specialized type of insurance that aims to safeguard certain healthcare professionals against claims arising from negligent acts that caused injuries to the patients. These claims can be due to misdiagnosis or mistreatment of diseases, anesthesia errors, prescription mistakes, surgical errors, and many more. Also, with this type of insurance coverage in place, medical professionals can prevent themselves from getting serious professional and financial troubles.

To understand the fundamentals of malpractice insurance better, below are six healthcare professionals who need it and the reasons for obtaining it: 

  1. Physicians And Surgeons 

Two of the medical practitioners who should get malpractice insurance are physicians and surgeons. Since they’re tasked to diagnose and treat several people with diseases, their work is essential to the medical field. 

Also, given the intensity of their jobs, the larger scope of their work, and the reasonable standard of care expected of them, they need medical malpractice insurance to ensure a medical career free from claims and other potential risks. 

  1. Nurse Anesthetists

Apart from the surgeons, registered nurse anesthetists are also crucial in the success of any surgical procedure. Typically, the administration of anesthesia can be complex in a way that the dosage should be tailored to the patient’s needs. Hence, medical professionals like nurse anesthetists need to be careful in the selection of anesthetics, administration, monitoring, and waking the patients up after an anesthesia-induced sleep. 

However, when the administered anesthesia fails and causes physical or psychological damage to the patient, then the nurse anesthetists may face serious legal troubles, including lawsuits and claims for damages. In such a case, having malpractice insurance is important for them. With it in place, they’re financially and legally protected in cases when the anesthesia they’ve administered didn’t work in its intended capacity. 

  1. Nurse Practitioners 

Just like physicians, nurse practitioners are also expected to closely work with the patients daily. Their main responsibility is to provide primary and specialty healthcare, such as assessing and diagnosing patients, ordering laboratory tests, and managing health conditions. 

Due to these tasks, they’re certainly exposed to many situations where patients may be injured and as a result, file a claim against them. Since this can be a common circumstance, nurse practitioners should obtain proper malpractice insurance for their protection against legal and financial risks. 

  1. Chiropractors 

Another group of healthcare professionals who should obtain malpractice insurance is chiropractors. Similar to other medical practitioners, they work with the human body by analyzing a patient’s posture, reflexes, and spine, conducting tests, providing neuromusculoskeletal therapy, and giving additional treatments to alleviate pain and correct misalignments. 

Although chiropractors don’t perform surgical operations, they adjust the structure of a patient’s body in a way that a single negligent act can result in damage and injury. This is a crucial reason they should buy malpractice insurance coverage to safeguard themselves against any legal claims. 

  1. Podiatrists 

Podiatrists are medical professionals who specialize in the study, diagnosis, and treatment of various disorders of the ankle, foot, lower leg, and lower back. For instance, their primary responsibilities include performing a physical exam, conducting surgeries, and prescribing medications and medical devices. 

Thus, since the foot and other related parts of the body are necessary for working and living, podiatrists need to exercise a reasonable standard of care in doing their jobs in the medical field. Any error committed may result in a medical malpractice case, especially if it causes a long-term disability to a patient. For this reason, podiatrists need to obtain malpractice insurance coverage to safeguard their medical practice and avoid legal claims. 

  1. Dentists

Dentists are healthcare professionals who deal with another important part of the human body, the mouth. They’re responsible for diagnosing oral diseases, creating treatment plans, administering anesthetics, conducting surgical procedures, and many more. Given these responsibilities, dentists should also exercise a reasonable standard of care in their dental practice to avoid causing injury to their patients.

But, since they’re working on an essential part of the human body, they’re also exposed to situations where they can injure a patient due to negligent acts. To ensure they’re prepared when this happens, getting insurance makes a lot of sense. It can protect them from claims that can result in serious repercussions and a damaged reputation in their medical career. 

Bottom Line

Sometimes, certain medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment may end up harming a patient in several ways. Because of this, the healthcare professionals listed above should find time to obtain malpractice insurance for protection. Given the nature of their profession and the scope of their practice, having an insurance policy in place can go a long way in safeguarding them against legal and financial claims. 

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