Good practice procedures in Complementary & Alternative Medicine include obtaining a signed Informed Consent form from a client along with pertinent client information, insurance information if appropriate, and setting up a client file. The client file will contain all documents pertaining to the client and allow the practitioner to provide excellent Case Management.
Why is your client seeking treatment?
When new clients are added to a practice it is good practice to have the client fill out forms about their personal medical history and to document the reasons and conditions for which they are seeking treatment. It is also good practice to have the client sign an Informed Consent Form to document that they know what practice and services the practitioner will be providing. Many practitioners use documentation forms specific to their modality as they interview and “assess” the client for the first time. After the treatment is concluded, practitioners speak with the client to get feedback and document what the client experienced and how they are now feeling. If appropriate and within your scope of practice t is helpful to use some measurement tool like a pain or feelings scale before and after the session to capture their experience. In addition, recommendations may be made for the client to practice at home and/or to seek other medical/professional help which should be documented as well. Each of these documentations assists the practitioner in managing their individual client’s progress and experience. They also serve to protect the practitioner should there be a need to explain or review what occurred while working with a client.
Give additional information to inform your client.
Many alternative & complementary modalities, (Reiki, energy medicine, aromatherapy, coaching as examples) have brochures that can be given to the client which outline what the client can expect when receiving a treatment. Some practitioners prefer to create a brochure and tailor it to their individual practice as they may use more than one modality in an individual treatment. These brochures are excellent marketing tools in addition to explaining what to expect to the new client. They can also be given to existing clients who wish to explain the treatment they received to others or to introduce it to a family member or friend they think would find benefit from the treatment. Word of mouth is one of the most common ways that practitioners obtain new clients.
What if there is a misunderstanding?
Sadly and thankfully rarely, something goes amiss. Even though our best efforts and intentions are put forth every day, misperceptions are real and a client could perceive the practitioner has caused them “damage” in some way or accidents happen, like a slip and fall. Having good clear documentation is key to safe practice and will be important if a client comes forth with a complaint or experiences an injury while in a practitioner’s care.
One of the fundamental pieces for practitioners to protect their practice and their clients is obtaining Professional Liability Insurance. Although a practitioner may be covered by Liability Insurance through an employer usually this coverage does not include coverage for a private practice outside of the employment hours. This insurance protection provides a “safety-net” should a complaint be brought against a practitioner or a client is injured and a suit is filed.
Professional Liability Insurance coverage is now expected of practitioners when they are practicing in clinics (even as a volunteer); when sharing an office space with other professionals or working within a healthcare setting. It is understandable why this is so. Also, if practicing in a home setting most homeowners’ insurance does not cover a practice provided in the home.
Professional Liability Insurance provides protection from the unexpected and unforeseen occurrence. It provides peace of mind to everyone, practitioners and clients. Fortunately, because Energy Medicine practice has rare to no side effects, legal suits are practically non-existent and therefore Liability Insurance coverage is very affordable.
When practitioners let their clients know they carry Professional Liability Insurance it raises their practice professionalism. Although neither the practitioner nor the client anticipate that it would ever be used, it indicates that the practitioner has taken their business seriously and protected everyone involved. If you are in the U.S., apply for protection today – for more information and view the application click here. Tell them Havana Wellness Studio sent you.