Food For Thought: What happens when nutritional advice offered does not have the desired result for a certain client?
This scenario could result in a lawsuit. Dietitians and nutritionists often offer their clients valuable information regarding food and nutrition and can provide excellent recommendations for a creating and living healthy lifestyle.
What may help one person is not necessarily guaranteed to help another. Sometimes patients have a serious reaction to the advice given due to unforeseen and possibly unpreventable dietary allergies or needs. When these situations do occur, it is paramount for dietitians to have professional liability insurance that covers unforeseen mistakes.
Professional liability insurance for dietitians is one way to safeguard against a medical malpractice lawsuit. Many issues for dietitians will be based on a failure either to act or to communicate. Claims against dietitians and nutritionists can vary.
Claims Against Dietitians Include:
- Serving contaminated food
- Negligence can include a dietitian’s inability to recognize that they are not capable of addressing an issue. An example of this is if a dietitian recommends that a patient stop taking thyroid medication without consulting the prescribing physician.
- Not evaluating meal service for accuracy
- Failure to analyze menus for nutritional adequacy
- Failure to keep current. Nutritionists should continue their education even after schooling so they maintain knowledge on their subject and can adequately inform their patients. This implies a duty on the part of the dietitian to be aware of current developments in nutrition and dietetics and to practice accordingly.
- Failure to act in malpractice negligence relates to the care that the patient is given. A professional is liable for the actions he/she takes as well as for their failure to perform.
Professional liability insurance for dietitians and nutritionists does not guarantee that these claims will never be brought against you in your career, but they ensure that you will have someone on your side when you encounter a problem. Professional liability insurance allows you to focus on providing the best care possible to your clients, while CPH and Associates protects your livelihood.