Do you manage a busy dental practice? As you grow your dental office, there are many circumstances you may encounter along the way. Unfortunately, ethical dilemmas can happen frequently in the dental field, resulting in poor morale and patient care practices. However, having a foundational understanding of how to navigate ethical dilemmas will be key to building a professional and competent dental practice. Here are three steps for effectively navigating ethical dilemmas:
How Can You Navigate Ethical Dilemmas in Dentistry?
Identify the ethical issue at hand.
There are many types of ethical dilemmas in the dental industry, so it’s important to identify the issue before taking any steps to resolve it. If you’re unsure whether a situation presents an ethical challenge, speak with an experienced provider at your practice about it. Many seasoned dental professionals have dealt with numerous ethical dilemmas throughout their careers and can often assist in handling issues properly. From breaches of confidentiality to poor-quality dental treatments, long-time dental providers are typically well-versed on how to handle a variety of ethical dilemmas related to patients and the workplace.
Record all the information.
Once you’ve gathered all the facts and details surrounding the dilemma, it’s essential to record everything for accurate reference or to protect your practice in the event of any potential lawsuits. This requires getting all background information and seeking feedback from all parties involved. As you collect as much information as possible, you can start the process of determining who is at fault or responsible for the issue. From there, the proper steps can be taken to rectify the problem before it happens again or becomes worse.
Execute the proper course of action.
All ethical dilemmas – no matter how big or small they may be – should be resolved in a way that’s fair. Executing the appropriate course of action in a timely manner will ensure the proper steps are taken not only rectify the problem, but prevent it from occurring again within your practice. Some cases may require minimal internal action, while others may need the involvement of several individuals (or even legal counsel) to achieve a viable resolution.
By following these practices, you can successfully handle ethical issues that arise without compromising the integrity of care.
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