Six ways to minimize your risk in lawsuits

1. Make sure you are covered by your employer’s liability insurance, and get assurances that you will receive support from your employer if you are named in a lawsuit.

"By the very nature of the services the case manager provides, typical medical malpractice may not cover them," says Susan Gilpin, JD, chief executive officer of the Commission for Case Management Certification in Rolling Meadows, IL.

2. Operate within the scope of your license and follow the codes of ethics and standards of practice that may apply for you.

3. Keep up with what is going on in your field by attending seminars and reading professional journals.

4. Document every encounter with every patient. In the case of a noncompliant patient, follow up the telephone encounter with a letter and keep copies.

5. Seek advice from your employer’s legal counsel as soon as situations arise that may lead to a lawsuit.

6. When the outcome with a client has not been what was hoped for, review the situation and look at ways you can make changes so the same situation won’t occur again.