I've been offered a position at a new company to oversee health screenings that include BP, 3-lead interpretive ECG tests, TSH, and ABI testing. None of the screenings are designed to replace a doctor's office visit, and no follow up medical care will be provided. They're designed to give people an idea of whether or not they have any risk factors that they should see a doctor about. I'm concerned because the company is not operated by a physician and is not affiliated with a hospital or clinic. Is there an issue with liability for me if I accept? Any advice or thoughts are appreciated.
Feb 4, '12
I could see a potential liability issue if you are a certified nurse practitioner. Regardless of whether your state requires a collaborating physician or allows you to be independent, you are held to the standard of a healthcare provider by virtue of your qualifications. Nurses who are not APN's work in companies that provide routine screenings (blood pressure, cholesterol panel, etc) and it's clear in those situations that the person performing the screen is not a physician, thus, is not able to provide medical advice. The fact that you are a nurse practitioner overseeing non-APN nurses who perform screenings elevates your role to a provider who can be responsible for any adverse outcomes. To me, it would be fine to accept such a position as long as there's a mechanism in place that can protect you in high risk situations (i.e., abnormal EKG's with threat of an MI, abnormal ABI's with threat of limb ischemia, hypertensive urgencies).
Feb 4, '12
Check your state nurse practice act , maybe have written protocols in place for the high risk situations previous poster noted, check your malpractice insurance
, maybe consult with a lawyer to make sure you are protecting yourself