To Read, or Not to Read, That is The Question

In the fast paced world in which we live, we often struggle to meet our obligations while finding balance between work and home life.  It can be difficult to find the extra time to do the things that are not necessarily required of us, although they would be good practice.  Sometimes we get so involved in the details of life, that we miss the big picture.  Dental professionals are no exception.  In addition to caring for patients and keeping up their licensure requirements, they also are oftentimes managing a business and employees.

As an attorney representing dental professionals, one of the big issues I see raised by plaintiff attorneys is the type of products used by the practitioner, how knowledgeable the practitioner is of the product, whether it was a good choice for the patient in question and what the major risks or side effects of the product may be.  It is often asked of the practitioner in depositions whether he or she has read the package insert or performed any literature research of their own for the product in question.  Sometimes, the product has been used by the practitioner for so many years, that he or she does not feel it necessary to review any materials to be comfortable to use the product.  Inevitably, the practitioner in these depositions is questioned about the details of the package insert with the goal of the plaintiff’s lawyer is to make the practitioner appear that he or she did not know the very basic information about the products being used on their patients.  It will also be pointed out that most of the information found on the package insert was not shared with the patient.

Obviously, reading the package inserts every time a product is used is not feasible or realistic.  However, a good practice would be to set a regular schedule to review literature about the products that you use in your practice.  Not only the ones that are used on a daily basis, but also those products that you only use once in a while.  Although it seems like a simple task, setting aside a time on the calendar will help you to put this practice in place.  Doing so keeps you “in the know” about any changes or recommendations made by the manufacturer or debates that are occurring in the literature about the very products on your shelves.

Leave a comment