Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Explains How Charting Errors Can Lead to Discipline

One of the most time consuming and tedious aspects of the nursing profession is charting. That said, it is also one of the most vital tasks, as it is the primary line of communication between you and the rest of the medical professionals on your team. If you are a veteran nurse or work in a rural or small clinic, you may be acquainted with hand-charting your patients’ health information. On the other hand, if you work in a modern medical facility, you may use an entirely electronic charting program. Regardless of the charting system you use, charting errors and omissions can cost you your job and your nursing license

Before my work representing medical professionals in licensing cases I advised the boards that discipline them. As a result, I have a unique insight into how to avoid discipline altogether or to minimize it when avoidance is impossible. I frequently represent nurses accused of charting errors and often achieve positive results on their behalf. If you are a nurse in Kansas or Missouri facing an investigation that jeopardizes your professional license, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation.

Charting Mistakes and Fraud

I frequently see nurses accused of charting mistakes that fall into two categories. The first category is somewhat minor mistakes that taken together demonstrate a pattern of sloppiness. The second is serious, singular errors that result in harm to patients and other sentinel events. I am categorizing both of these types of allegations as “mistakes” because they are the unintentional results of overwork, poor charting systems, or other medical professionals’ errors.

The following is a list of common chart mistakes that I see: food allergies, medication reactions, changes in patient conditions, treatment actions taken, physicians’ requests to discontinue the use of a medication, adverse effect of a medication, known preexisting conditions. I also frequently see mistakes such as inadvertently writing one patient’s chart notes on another patient’s chart. Finally, I often see mathematical errors, such as writing “2 milligrams” when in fact the patient received “.2 milligrams” of a drug.

Less frequently, my clients are accused of fraudulent charting, which is the intentional misrepresentation of patients’ medical information. The reasons alleged for fraudulent charting vary, but often involve an overworked nurse trying to “catch up” on charting that he or she did not do but should have. Rather than come clean about the omission, the nurse fabricates information for a patient’s chart to cover his or her tracks.

Often, nurses’ inadvertent mistakes are misconstrued as a pattern of sloppiness or intentional fraud when, in fact, they are simple human error.  An attorney can help you gather evidence and explain the situation in a manner that makes that critical distinction clear. A single mistake or mischaracterization should not define your nursing career.

Contact an Experienced Kansas Licensing Attorney Now

You have worked too hard to attain your nursing license.  If you receive a notice of investigation, my experience is that “playing along” and being helpful will only hurt you in the end.  Do not speak to any investigators or agree to any type of suspension without an attorney to protect your interests. Your livelihood is at risk, and the challenge facing you is one you cannot navigate alone. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through this process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your clients and losing your career forever.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend you. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney prepared to guide you through your licensing issues.