Gone are the days when the actions of nurse practitioners are simply covered by a physician in the practice or the employer. Current trends show that nurse practitioners are being held accountable for their own actions. But as their scope of practice and autonomy increase, so too does their risk of professional liability.
What does this mean to you? As an employer, you may have legal responsibility, even if you never saw the patient. So what can you do to minimize their liability risk?
- Ensure your nurse practitioners have clinical protocols that are data-driven and followed;
- Ensure they are covered by insurance in the event of a lawsuit (either by your policy of professional insurance, or their own with sufficient coverage limits).
Nurse practitioners face many of the same malpractice claims as general practitioners, including failure to refer to specialists, and diagnostic/medication errors. As their clinical role expands – conducting independent patient evaluations and making diagnoses – you can minimize their liability risk by thoroughly reviewing your protocols and insurance coverage.
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