Medical assistants are at risk for malpractice suits, 'JAMA' reports: 4 takeaways

Medscape outlined a JAMA study that describes how support staff can either defend against malpractice risks or increase them.

 Here are four takeaways from the report:

1. Because they are involved in all areas of a practice, medical assistants can potentially be involved in many kinds of malpractice, including medication injection and transcribing mistakes.

2. The study authors concluded there were a similar number of paid malpractice claims within the National Practitioner Data Bank for inpatient and outpatient settings.

3. Physicians can help their MAs avoid malpractice through offering formal training, and keeping open communication with all support staff, Medscape said.

4. Because patients spend more time with support staff than with physicians, when patients are treated well by MAs and other staff, they are less likely to sue the physician if things go wrong, Medscape said.

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