As digital becomes more prominent in the healthcare agenda, Ben Rose, chief underwriting officer for Digital Risks, explores how professionals now face an increasing number of risks above and beyond traditional issues.

Working in the healthcare sector comes with a lot of responsibilities. The sector is also quickly turning into a technology-led, digital industry. As a result, professionals now face an increasing number of risks above and beyond traditional issues. These include machine led diagnosis errors, cyber events, system outages or faulty devices.

Self-employed healthcare professionals, including nurses, technicians and carers must therefore make sure that they have the right cover in place to ensure they are fully protected. A critical aspect of this is taking out an insurance policy, which protects against both new and emerging risks. Traditionally these emerging elements have been difficult to receive cover for. So, when making a decision, healthcare professionals must be sure to partner with an insurance provider that can cover all risks, both new and emerging.

Taking out the right insurance 

When looking to take out the right insurance healthcare professionals must choose a solution that fits the requirements of their industry. Whether they be a specialist carer, dental nurse, or therapist. Having a solution in place which meets the specific needs of their day to day operations will be crucial.

Many professional and regulatory bodies will also insist that their members have medical malpractice and public liability insurance, so it’s important to check this before deciding which type and level of cover is needed.

What is medical malpractice?

A core component of healthcare professional insurance is medical malpractice, which covers medical and healthcare professionals from claims alleging an error or negligence in their professional duties. Such claims of medical negligence are only increasing in number, making it more important than ever to have this defence in place.

One of the primary reasons to have medical malpractice cover in place is that It’s important these claims could result in serious consequences such as disciplinary proceedings, inquiries and high legal and compensation costs. Medical malpractice insurance will be able to protect you in these instances and cover the costs involved.

Professional indemnity is also a hugely important area within medical malpractice that protects businesses against claims for financial losses caused by omissions or errors in the services they provide.

Prevention can be your greatest ally

Running alongside this type of cover, it’s key that individuals have a prevention strategy in place. Communicating clearly and kindly with patients will ensure they have a full understanding of their treatment, while maintaining a paper trail of treatments administered and advice given, will protect your back in the event that an issue does arise.

Ensuring full compliance by keeping tabs on the latest standards while also following up with patients and asking for feedback post-treatment can also aid with cover.

Protecting your future

In the event a healthcare professional has had a successful claim or disciplinary action taken against them in the past, some insurance providers may be reluctant to cover such professionals. It is therefore paramount that individuals provide complete transparency on their past claims, if any.

Medical malpractice insurance typically falls under the category of claims-made policies which means that only circumstances reported to the insurer within the policy period are covered. It’s important therefore that professionals pick a solution provider than, if required, goes above and beyond this.

It’s therefore important that healthcare professionals select an insurtech that includes unlimited retroactive cover. This is useful in that it will cover services provided by the business before the start of the policy. For example, if a mishap took place before the start of the cover that nobody found out about till much later, it would still fall under this policy.

Final thoughts

Selecting the right medical insurance that covers all bases should be a priority for all individuals. While prevention and awareness can act as good deterrents against risks, this doesn’t mean you are completely in the clear.

Damage to reputation and credibility could be an unfavourable outcome that could cause great harm to a business in the long run, for instance. That is why when it comes to risks, it is important to never underestimate the likelihood of something happening and vital that if it does, you have the right protection in place.