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Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your patients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation.
ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Patient Retention Techniques
When talking about techniques to grow your business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the patient base, that is, on strategies to attract new patients. However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
Preaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
May, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 05
Malpractice Claims: Sexual Misconduct
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
Sexual misconduct is not a new problem among health care practitioners. Hippocrates even added to his oath, "In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction, and especially from the pleasures of love with women or men, be they free or slaves." In order to prevent this damaging conduct from happening to our clients and in our practices, we must maintain appropriate boundaries and develop open communication. It is our responsibility as the therapist to establish these boundaries, and shift them to the needs of the client.
Malpractice and/or liability claims are generally categorized into malpractice, criminal or civil. Malpractice includes acts of commission and acts of omission.1,2 Acts of commission are unintentional or intentional acts, performed by a therapist, that result in some type of harm to the client. Acts of omission is more common among primary health care physicians such as doctors, chiropractors or acupuncturists and involves a failure to refer clients out when indicated, or some type of missed problem in initial treatment of patient. Criminal suits are usually claims that involve some type of illegal implication and ramification for unprofessional illegal conduct. This month, we will further discuss these criminal acts but more specifically unprofessional sexual misconduct.
According to the Medical Council of New Zealand, sexual misconduct can be divided into three categories. The lowest level of misconduct is defined as "sexual impropriety." "This is nonphysical contact of a patient that is inappropriate jokes, crude gestures ... or demeaning comments about a patient's undergarments." The next level is "sexual transgression," which is defined as, "inappropriate touching of a patient stopping just short of an overt sexual act." This can include unnecessary contact with the breasts and inappropriate draping or lack thereof. The last and most severe is "sexual violation." This is defined as, "a sexual act between patient and doctor, there is no distinction between which party initiated the contact and whether the act was consensual." When any type of sexual misconduct takes place, the issue is no longer in the malpractice realm but becomes a criminal issue. These illegal acts are usually excluded in malpractice insurance policies.
Health care professionals are held to higher standards due to the hands-on nature of our field. The one-on-one time spent with clients creates a special personal connection between the client and therapist where the client may share personal information that would not be shared to other types of professionals. With the exception of the health care professionals, people would generally never allow another service provider to touch them. This immediately places us in a unique position of trust as separate and distinctive professionals. Unfortunately, according to the American Massage Council's claims history, sexual misconduct is the number one type of claim against massage therapists.
Sexual misconduct is not limited to sexual interaction with a client. It can be an inappropriate comment, flirtatious behavior, look or gift. This type of misconduct can harm the client in many ways and has major repercussions for us as practitioners. These repercussions may include damaged reputations, lawsuits, and ultimately losing our permits, licenses and practices. How can these issues be prevented? Most experts in practice management recommend setting adequate and appropriate boundaries.
Boundaries separate your personal space from the space of the client. Most boundaries are created by the client and maintained by the practitioner. The maintenance of these boundaries can help us maintain a thriving and professional practice. There are several types of boundaries set by in practice that can help us to prevent any misunderstandings or mistakes that could lead to sexual misconduct.
The first and most important when it comes to sexual impropriety claims are physical boundaries. What kind of touch will we accept from a client when greeting them? What type of draping techniques should we use? According to an administrator at a leading massage school in California, "draping is the number one complaint from clients receiving massage in their clinic." Massage therapists must make sure that the client is properly, consistently and conservatively draped. Always give the client sufficient time in private to change before and after the massage.
The next way to protect yourself is by maintaining verbal boundaries, keeping open all lines of communication with your client. Listen to your clients attentively and comfort them through a routine professional protocol in treatment procedures. When explaining your treatment plans for the client, make clear what you are going to do, explaining again what you are doing while doing it, and then telling the client what you just did. Set the language in conversation on the telephone in a professional level. Always avoid improper slang, language and gossip, and keep client's confidentiality a priority.
Lastly, a first impression is always made with visual boundaries. Our society is based on visual recognition and appearance. Create your own professionalism by consistently practicing routine procedures and retaining a standard dress code. Uniforms can create a comfortable atmosphere by setting a familiar tone. Keep your office clean and neat.
Through establishing, encouraging and enforcing these boundaries, you will promote your profession, as well as the safekeeping of yourself and your clients. Next time, we will discuss three additional boundaries that can help us succeed in practice.
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