Course Description

Legal and Ethical Issues for Pt’s: Considerations In Risk Management

This course provides the physical therapist clinical doctoral learner with foundational information as to legal, ethical and administrative decision-making processes regarding issues often encountered in clinical practice.

Full Course Description

This course provides the physical therapist clinical doctoral learner with foundational information as to legal, ethical and administrative decision-making processes regarding issues often encountered in clinical practice. Specific topics include PT malpractice, legal aspects of documentation, informed consent, sexual harassment and misconduct, professional responsibility, preparation for a deposition, criminal/contract/ education law issues, and liability risk management. There is also an optional lecture on managed care issues. Utilizing theoretical frameworks, case-based decision-making situations are presented. The applications presented emphasize the ethical/legal responsibilities of the physical therapist as an autonomous practitioner.

Objectives

By the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • Compare the nature of health care and physical malpractice, civil and criminal litigation, and administrative processes.
  • Explain the nature of risk management in health care and construct effective strategies to simultaneously optimize quality of patient care and minimize the risk of liability exposure in clinical practice.
  • Prepare, if needed, to be an effective expert, fact witnesses and/or consultant in legal and/or administrative cases requiring physical therapist input.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the legal and ethical bases for informed consent and be able to synthesize legal and ethical responsibilities and values into a formal patient informed consent policy statement in clinical physical therapy practice.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the coprimary purposes for patient care documentation, and analyze their hierarchy of importance.
  • Apply clinical risk management principles to special documentation problems, including: adverse incident reporting and reporting of abuse and other mandatory reports.
  • Distinguish and resolve ethical and legal issues arising in practice using concrete construct and problem-solving methodology.
  • Effectively resolve allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct arising in the work place.
  • Debate or defend with professional and support colleagues in the work place those interpersonal behaviors that are: acceptable, precautionary, and unacceptable to the ordinary reasonable person.
  • Explain the nature of health care business contractual relationships, and synthesize that understanding into an effective personal policy for employment-related contract management in their professional careers.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the legal and practical aspects of supervision and delegation – especially as it relates to delegation of selected interventions to the licensed physical therapist assistant.