Doctors, nurses and pharmacists see a wide range of injuries and illnesses each time they report to work. While many of these conditions can be treated successfully, not every person will respond the same way. Those who find themselves unable to recover after receiving care may wonder why their conditions did not improve.
In some of these cases, patients may feel that the doctors or nurses did not follow the proper medical procedures in place, and file a complaint against the medical professional. States set their own rules regarding the practice of medicine, and when someone alleges wrongdoing, the complaint will be taken seriously. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists all need to prepare a strong medical licensing defense, as the licensing agencies may impose penalties that could result in a loss of license.
In Texas, the process for investigation of doctors, nurses and pharmacists is similar, but each profession is monitored by a different agency. For doctors and physicians, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) is responsible for investigating allegations of wrongdoing. According to the agency, it reviews over 7,000 complaints each year. Nurses are investigated by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), which receives around 16,000 complaints each year. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy (BOP) handles issues that are connected to pharmacist complaints.
All of the agencies process complaints in similar manners. Once a violation of the rules is alleged, the agencies will typically notify the individual that a complaint has been received. Basically, this is the agency's way of trying to learn more about what happened from the physician, nurse or pharmacist. Often, the medical professional will not understand the seriousness of this request, and make statements that could lead to problems down the road.
If the agency decides to continue the matter, the medical professionals may have to attend an Informal Settlement Conference (ISC). Even though it sounds like it might be a somewhat reserved event, this is a very serious step in the process. The boards will be trying to get the medical professional to accept some sort of punishment. If the doctors, nurses and pharmacists cannot come to an agreement with the respective agency involved, the board may file a lawsuit against the health care workers being investigated.
If you are a medical professional facing a licensing board investigation, you need to take the matter seriously. Your livelihood is at stake. If you do not present a strong defense, it is possible that you could lose your license.
As soon as you learn that you are under investigation, you should speak to an experienced medical license defense attorney to help you protect your career. You may think that you are able to defend yourself against these accusations, but you may simply be giving the board the information they need to hand down significant penalties. An attorney familiar with the process can answer all of the questions that you may have, and help you make the decisions that are best for you.