The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition reported that about 72% of complaints against doctors in the state were because of substandard care practices, and approximately 9% of those complaints resulted in disciplinary actions.
If you are a doctor in Colorado, receiving a notification from the Colorado Medical Board that a patient filed a complaint against you can be unsettling. This board has the authority to take action on your medical license, which can include imposing discipline if they find a violation of the Medical Practice Act. The process can be complex and stress-inducing, but understanding how to approach the situation can help you manage it effectively.
Understand the complaint
Get a clear understanding of the specific issues the board has raised. You should know exactly what aspect of your practice is under scrutiny. Is it related to patient care, records management, prescription practices or something else? Once you know the focus of the complaint, you can begin to gather relevant information and documents that relate to the case.
Respond promptly and thoroughly
You must respond to the complaint in a timely manner. The board will provide you with a deadline for your response. Ensure you collect all necessary documentation and evidence that supports your side of the story. This evidence could include patient records, correspondence or policy documents. Organize your response in a clear, concise manner and address each point raised in the complaint.
Throughout the process, maintain a professional demeanor. This includes all interactions with the board, staff and any other parties involved. Your conduct during the investigation can impact the board’s perception of you and potentially the outcome of the complaint.
Continue your practice responsibly
While under investigation, continue to practice medicine responsibly. Adhere strictly to professional standards and the board’s regulations. This is not the time to make significant changes to your practice that someone could misinterpret as an admission of guilt or an attempt to cover up any issues.
Remember, handling a disciplinary board complaint is a serious matter that requires attention to detail, prompt action and a proactive approach. With the right mindset and steps, you can navigate through the process and continue providing high-quality care to your patients in Colorado.