Communication can fend off licensing board complaints

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Feb 01, 2005
By dvm360.com staff

ORLANDO — Ninety percent of all licensing board complaints stem from poor communication about medical prognoses or failure to obtain proper authorization before treating a patient.

That's according to Karl Salzsieder, DVM, JD, of Salzsieder Consulting & Legal Services in Kelso, Wash. Salzsieder presented the topic in early January during The North American Veterinary Conference.

Diagnostics can save veterinarians from reprimand, he says.

"One way to assist clients in understanding the seriousness of the case and the reasons for the planned treatment is to increase the objectivity of the cases with increased diagnostics wherever possible," he says.

A complete exam also is mandatory, he adds. "It gives the perception of quality. If the client doesn't perceive that you did a quality exam, you're in trouble."

Records often are another sore spot for veterinarians, Salzsieder says. Licensing board complaints can be minimized by monitoring or tracking diagnostics and medical treatments, also known as medical metrics or evidence-based medicine, he adds.

"Almost every board complaint, even if I get the veterinarian off, gets hung up on records violations," he says. "It seems a lot of veterinarians don't like paperwork or bureaucracy."