29 April 2019

Learning to Manage Risk

Whether you are a recent graduate or a long-time practitioner, understanding risk management is an important aspect of everyday practice. To ensure chiropractors across Australia are up to date with the latest risk management requirements, the ACA are hosting a Risk Management Roadshow in eight cities around Australia and will be presented by expert Chiropractic Peer Reviewer, Dr John Kelly.

“It is so important that chiropractors recognise their changing requirements in clinical practice, and we need to see the bar raised across the board in relation to understanding duty of care, which captures the management of the patient from the first phone contact through to the completion of care and everything in between,” said Dr Kelly.

Beginning his chiropractic career over 40 years ago, Dr Kelly completed his first medico-legal review in 1986, and at the time the cases were ‘once in a blue moon’. However, after 1998 legislation changes saw the medical negligence claims in Australia and against the profession increase, to the point that Dr Kelly was completing six reviews a month.

Dr Kelly thought an appropriate theme for the Roadshow was the concept of ‘Then and Now.’ ‘Then’ being in relation to his first case in 1986 and his latest which brings him to number 350 this year being the ‘Now’.

“In reviewing those two cases we will look at what has really changed in the last 33 years. Medico-legal cases for me were always a great opportunity to learn something. There was always a message in there of what could have been done better or differently.”

All the cases that Dr Kelly will be sharing are real litigation cases that he has reviewed, giving chiropractors a first-hand account of the circumstances of the case. As Dr Kelly has been presenting risk management talks since 2000, attendees can expect to walk away from this seminar with a complete update of what is expected of them in relation to informed consent, history taking, examination procedures, clinical record keeping, technique selection and many more practical lessons.

“My desire with this program is to get all chiropractors in Australia on the same page at the same time in relation to their requirements for managing risk in their practice. I often say this is not a scare campaign but to get you to review what you do, sharpen your pencil and raise the bar of how you practice.”

In the seminar, Dr Kelly will review 12 real medico-legal cases in a compacted format – a significant change from his three or four that are usually covered in a four-hour presentation. Reviewing each case, he will discuss the chiropractor’s initial analysis/diagnosis and what else should have been on their list to investigate before providing care. He will also reinforce the diagnostic dictum of ‘what else could it be apart from what I think it is’.

The ability to tune the medico-legal radar is another key aspect of the roadshow that Dr Kelly wants all practitioners to learn and carry with them back into practice. However, as these situations can often be unpredictable, the best chance chiropractors may have to minimise risk is by ensuring ‘all the boxes are ticked in relation to exercising duty of dare.’

“If you don’t know what those boxes are because you’ve been out there for too long and they didn’t have those boxes when you graduated or if you’re a new practitioner and think this can’t happen to you, then I suggest you come along and have a listen – this four hour session will be full of relevant information,” Dr Kelly said.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn valuable, first-hand lessons from real cases and avoid the mistakes of the past.

“Why should chiropractors come to the roadshow? Because it will give them the option to review themselves and their own benchmarks in patient management and reconsider what they do in everyday practice. I really hope they will walk away from this session with their eyes wide open and thereby avoid one of the biggest risks of all – complacency”.

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