Risk assessment is key


HOSPITALS are at increased risk of litigation because of the activities of company representatives within the clinical field. That is why risk assessment is the key to best practice.

Managements have a legal duty to carry out these risk assessments, which, among other things, will identify necessary actions to minimise both clinical and non-clinical risks to patients, employees and others.

However, it would be remiss of them to overlook the legal dangers inherent in the presence in clinical areas of a medical devices company representative, who is a non-contracted third party able only to justify his or her role in a practical sense – not in legal or professional terms.

Two conclusions are to be drawn from this. Firstly, company representatives recognise the problem and are seeking a solution. Secondly, hospital staff are, by act or omission, failing to implement professional standards.

Don’t forget, the CR has a legitimate role in providing information and training to the clinical team, especially in light of the introduction of new technology and the need for ongoing management of high-tech equipment.

In short, product expertise brought to the clinical team is essential.