Healthcare workers are among the most highly trained professionals in the country. However, they are not immune from the disciplinary actions of a healthcare board.
According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, medical boards took 7,223 disciplinary actions in 2021. This is a small fraction of all healthcare professionals. However, healthcare workers should not take this as an excuse to become negligent.
One mistake that medical workers might make is altering a medical record. Even if the professional needs to clarify or add a supplement to the form, they must follow procedure. New Jersey Legislature says falsifying or tampering with a medical record is a fourth-degree crime.
Even if a professional does not alter records, they still need to maintain competent and consistent documentation of care. Illegible or unclear documents might lead to disciplinary actions. Providing accurate and punctual documentation will guard against any actions from a healthcare board.
Medical professionals must take care to maintain a standard of care. Medical boards demand that physicians must perform prudently. To measure this, every physician acts as a guard against the other. The board compares how other professionals behave in a similar setting and determines whether the medical worker behaved reasonably. Some examples of malpractice might include:
- Failure to diagnose a chronic illness
- Improper treatment leading to infection
- Prescribing a harmful drug
- Causing harm during surgery
New Jersey medical workers must maintain a high standard to avoid disciplinary actions. This is understandable, as the essential work provided by healthcare professionals might be a matter of life and death.
Physician discipline. (2022). Federation of State Medical Boards. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.fsmb.org/u.s.-medical-regulatory-trends-and-actions/u.s.-medical-licensing-and-disciplinary-data/physician-discipline/
2C :21-4.1 . Destruction, alteration, falsification of records, crime of fourth degree. (1988). N.J. Legislative Statutes. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=Publish:10.1048/Enu