Failure to properly monitor or follow up with the patient
A physician's failure to follow up with patients regarding missed appointments, consults or procedures is one of the most common reasons doctors find themselves on the receiving end of a malpractice suit.
Doctors be held accountable for a patient's failure to adhere to critical follow-up recommendations, and it happens all the time.
A typical scenario is a patient with early stages of cancer who doesn't schedule a follow-up visit. If there is a patient [who] has signs like that, [physicians] need to follow up and they need to demonstrate that they have made every effort to follow up with that patient, order the correct tests and care for the patient.
Consider the following strategies to reduce your risk of becoming lost in the shuffle:
• Make sure your physician knows that you're awaiting crucial appointments or test results. Whether manually or digitally, routinely go back and identify which
doctors missed key appointments.
• If a physician continually misses recommended follow-up care, send a letter by certified mail asking him or her to contact you immediately to schedule the
appointment or procedure.
• Schedule critical follow-up appointments before you leave the office.
• Communicate to the doctor and staff the reasons you need them to stay on schedule.