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The Importance of Avoiding Prescription Errors as a Pharmacist in Kansas

Pharmacists are healthcare providers just like physicians and nurses.  You provide healthcare to your customers, who are also your patients, by dispensing prescription medications ordered by physicians.  While pharmacists don’t have the same one-on-one contact with their patients as physicians do, their role in ensuring patients receive the proper medication is vital to the overall health and well-being of the patient.  One small mistake, such as dispensing the wrong dosage, or dispensing the wrong medication entirely, can result in serious harm or death.  Therefore, pharmacists must scrutinize their work and that of their subordinates to a higher degree than many other professions.  One mistake could mean the loss of your pharmacist license in Kansas.

Common Pharmacy Errors

There are varying degrees of errors that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians make on a regular basis.  Some mistakes are minor, such as dispensing 29 pills instead of 30 for a patient.  But most mistakes are much more serious, and can be grounds for discipline and potential loss of your license in Kansas.  Some of the serious pharmacy errors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Dispensing the wrong prescription medication to a patient;
  • Dispensing the wrong does of a prescription medication to a patient;
  • Failing to investigate potential drug interactions a particular patient may have;
  • Failing to ask the patient if he or she has any questions about the medication being dispensed; and
  • Failing to communicate serious warnings, such as black box warnings, that some medications have

Consequences of Serious Pharmacy Errors

All of the above-mentioned pharmacy errors may lead to a patient becoming seriously ill, or even dying.  The most common fatal pharmacy error is dispensing the wrong dose of a medication to a patient.  Patients assume that the medication they receive is the intended dose, so they trust that what the pharmacist has dispensed must be correct.  Dispensing the wrong medication could be equally fatal, however, patients are more likely to realize that they have been given the wrong prescription medication, because they will not recognize the medication as something they have taken before.

Further, errors regarding a failure to communicate with the patient and investigate the patient’s prescription drug history can have disastrous consequences.  These errors often result when a pharmacist or pharmacy technician simply dispenses a prescription drug without understanding how that drug may affect a particular patient.  For example, if a patient already takes the blood thinner Coumadin, and then is prescribed certain antibiotics, the pharmacist should be aware that the antibiotics may have an impact on the effectiveness of Coumadin, which is a closely monitored medication.

Another potentially dangerous situation arises when a patient takes a prescription medication that has been given a black box warning, and a pharmacist does not communicate this serious warning to patients.  For example, if a patient takes Reglan, which has a black box warning for being known to cause the neurological condition “tardive dyskinesia,” that patient needs to be told that such a serious side-effect exists, to allow the patients to make an informed decision on whether or not to take the medication.

How to Prevent Pharmacy Errors

It is nearly impossible to prevent all mistakes.  However, if you are a pharmacist and you simply take the extra few minutes to ensure that you are dispensing the correct medication at the correct dosage.  Further, if you take the time to communicate with your patient about drug interactions, and potentially dangerous warnings, you will be taking all of the steps you need to take to ensure you are doing your job under Kansas law and won’t be at risk for losing your license.

Contact the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

We all make mistakes.  But when you have a professional license, each mistake carries with it enormous circumstances that could make or break your career in your profession.  If you are a pharmacist who is at risk of losing your license due to a prescription error, contact Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office as soon as possible to discuss your situation.  With her prior experience as Assistant Attorney General of Kansas, she knows what it’s like to be on the side of the Board that is deciding your fate as a pharmacist.  This experience allows Danielle Sanger to better represent her clients who are facing the loss of their professional licenses.  Call the Sanger Law Office today to schedule your free consultation by calling 785-979-4353.

Kansas Chiropractors – What to Watch Out For

You may be an upstanding citizen, treat your patients with the utmost care, ensure you are not practicing beyond the scope of your authority, and provide affordable services to your patients.  However, it takes just one complaint with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts to put your reputation and chiropractic license at risk.  Chiropractors are required to comply with the same rules as medical doctors and other healthcare professionals regarding billing practices, candor to patients, and other ethical matters.  But, there is one very important distinction that chiropractors must be aware of.  Chiropractors cannot represent themselves to their patients as “physicians” in the state of Kansas.

Many chiropractors may not describe themselves as physicians or even use the word “physician” when treating patients.  However, patients may believe that because their chiropractor provides general advice on diet, exercise and what may reduce high blood pressure, that their chiropractor must be their physician.  Chiropractors are aware that they cannot recommend that a patient take one medication or another, but chiropractors can suggest what types of food are known to reduce high blood pressure or what exercises may help with back pain.  Chiropractors may recommend certain herbal supplements that are known to help with certain ailments, but cannot tell patients to take those herbal supplements in place of prescription medication that has been prescribed by a physician.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself as a Chiropractor in Kansas

While some chiropractors may truly believe they are a type of physician, as many people do, in the state of Kansas, referring to yourself as a physician may very well lead to you professional license being stripped away.  Thus, chiropractors must be very careful with how they communicate their role to patients.  Perhaps making it very clear in writing to patients that you are not a physician under Kansas law will get the message to patients.  But even then, some patients don’t always read what is put in front of them.  It may be necessary to put a sign up in big, bold letters that says you are a chiropractor and cannot be termed a physician in the state of Kansas.  Whatever the method may be, the message must be loud and clear to patients so that any complaint a patient may file with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts will be lacking in proof.

It is unfortunate that chiropractors have to watch every move they make and be worried that anything they say or do may be misinterpreted by a patient, but that is simply necessary to ensure chiropractors will not lose their license for one mishap that really isn’t misconduct.  If you have questions about what conduct may be questionable and how to better communicate with your patients in the best way to minimize the risk of facing complaints, you should speak with a professional malpractice defense attorney.

Contact the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

Facing disciplinary action is certainly stressful, and the thought of losing your chiropractic license in Kansas over something that you did not even know was wrong is scary.  If a complaint has been filed against you for allegedly representing yourself to your patients as a physician, you need to speak with a professional license defense attorney as soon as possible.  Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office has the experience and drive necessary to defend you in a disciplinary proceeding.  Having been the Assistant Attorney General of Kansas, Danielle Sanger has the capacity to apply her knowledge from a prosecutorial frame of mind, and this enables her to better assist her clients in their fight to retain their professional licenses.  To schedule your free consultation, call the Sanger Law Office today at 785-979-4353.

Kansas and Missouri Attorneys – Top Reasons for Losing Your Law License

As with all professions that require a license, attorneys are held to a certain standard that must be adhered to in order to continue the practice of law year after year.  Many attorneys lose their law license for conduct that could have easily been prevented.  The conduct in question may not have been something you thought would put you at risk for disciplinary action, but when a client or another attorney files a complaint against you with the state bar association, you are at the discretion of a board that will scrutinize your behavior in great detail.  To better understand what you could be facing, you should do your best to avoid the mistakes described below.

  • Legal Malpractice – If a client is not satisfied with his or her legal representation, that client may file a complaint with your state bar association.  Oftentimes, clients do not always have valid allegations, but sometimes they do.  A common mistake attorneys make is to not properly calendar key events.  For example, if you are a plaintiff’s attorney and have a case where the statute of limitations is about to run, and you do not file the case on time, you are at risk for a malpractice complaint.  You have now prevented that client’s ability to bring a particular cause of action.  This mistake can be easily prevented by having a calendaring system that will alert you and your support staff to file a case on time.
  • Improper Billing Practices – Many attorneys do not properly keep client funds separate from other business accounts or their own personal accounts.  It is extremely important to document all client expenses and ensure client funds are in a proper escrow account.  If attorneys are short-staffed, they may not have an experienced bookkeeper to handle this very important aspect of a law firm.
  • Criminal Convictions – Not all criminal convictions will get you disbarred, however, depending on the severity of the conviction, you will at least be subject to some disciplinary action.  For example, violent crime may be grounds for losing your license, but a DUI or misdemeanor drug possession charge may not.  If you are convicted of a DUI or misdemeanor drug possession charge, the disciplinary board may require you to go through drug treatment or counseling.  However, if you have repeated offenses, you may very well lose your law license.
  • Not Properly Supervising Support Staff – As attorneys get busier and busier, they tend to forget that they are responsible for the conduct of their paralegals, law clerks and secretaries.  Improper supervision can subject you to disciplinary action.  For example, if you allow your paralegal to offer minimal advice to clients, this becomes the unauthorized practice of law, even if it’s something that seems so miniscule, such as advising a client as to whether he or she may have a good case.

These violations listed above are certainly not the only ways to lose your law license, but they do occur quite often among the legal community.  Good organizational skills will prevent all of the issues above except for criminal convictions.  Therefore, if you do your best to follow the law and ensure your law practice is organized, you will not be putting your law license at risk.

Contact the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If your law license is at risk, you need the help of a professional license defense attorney to ensure you are taking every step necessary to follow the rules of the Kansas or Missouri state bar.  Don’t let a seemingly trivial mistake ruin your career as an attorney.  At the Sanger Law Office, Danielle Sanger can assist you in fighting the state disciplinary boards to keep your law license.  With her prior experience as Assistant Attorney General in Kansas, Danielle Sanger has the knowledge from multiple perspectives, and uses this knowledge to find the best resolution that fits each client’s needs and wishes.  Don’t wait to act.  Call us today to schedule your free consultation.  We can be reached at 785-979-4353.

Kansas and Missouri Psychologists – How to Fight an Unsubstantiated Complaint

As a psychologist, patients put their trust in you.  They share their feelings, secrets, concerns and their entire life stories, seeking help to deal with the problems they are facing in their lives.  You have a tough job.  You have to remain impartial but still assist your patients in learning how to get through tough times, and get on the right track in their lives.  However, it is not uncommon for a patient to become too close to his or her psychologist and misinterpret the scope of the relationship.

Patients may feel so close to their psychologists that they develop romantic feelings.  They may believe these feelings are being reciprocated by misunderstanding their psychologists’ kind and receptive behavior.  For example, a patient may start believing that his or her psychologist is the comforting companion he or she always wanted, instead of realizing that the patient needs to take what is learned in therapy sessions and apply it to their personal lives.

Psychologists face a slippery slope where they may need to take a step back when they realize their patients are getting too close.  If a psychologist does tell his or her patient that it would be best to cut ties with the psychologist-patient relationship, the patient may get upset and decide to file a complaint in retaliation.  This is an unfortunate risk of being a psychologist.

In order to defend yourself when your license is at risk for something you did not do, you need to be sure to document in great detail every conversation you have with your patient.  You also need to document certain behaviors you believe are inappropriate.  If you are able to record conversations of your therapy sessions with the consent of your patients, this will help to gather evidence in your favor.  If you keep a good record of everything, you will have the documentation you need to defend yourself against an invalid complaint.

How to Prevent Complaints in the First Place

It isn’t always possible to predict with certainty how a patient will behave, but there are a few steps you can take to help a patient understand your role as a psychologist and his or her role as a patient.  First, you should tell your patient at the first meeting that the relationship is strictly limited in scope to that of a psychologist-patient relationship.  Second, you should have your patient sign a consent/agreement form outlining that the patient consents to receive counseling within the parameters of the law and agrees to not cross the line and attempt to form a romantic relationship.  If the patient does cross the line, the patient agrees that the psychologist-patient relationship should be terminated.  Third, you should remind your patient periodically of the parameters of the relationship should the patient exhibit behaviors that are inappropriate.

You will have patients from all walks of life.  You will have patients that understand what to expect from counseling or therapy, and you will have patients that attempt to cross the line.  You may have patients that retaliate against you for your actions of rejecting a romantic relationship.  When a patient retaliates, you need the assistance of a professional license defense attorney.

Contact the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

A complaint based on false allegations could tarnish your reputation as a psychologist.  If you are facing a complaint filed by a patient that is completely unfounded and not based on fact, you need to speak with our professional license defense attorney as soon as possible.  Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office has assisted clients just like you who have faced allegations that are simply not true.  Don’t let a false complaint prevent you from practicing as a psychologist.  Contact the Sanger Law Office today for a free consultation to discuss your case.  You may contact us online or call us at 785-979-4353.