Physiotherapists Need to Have a Written Plan to Manage Adverse Events


When in Doubt, Give Us a Call

If you have any questions about written plans to manage
adverse events, get in touch
with the Practice Advisor
or call 416-591-3828 ext. 241
or 1-800-583-5885 ext. 241.

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What Does a Written Plan for Adverse Events Look Like?

We leave that up to you. It could be written up as a policy, a chart, table, a booklet — you decide what works best in your situation and workplace.

Regardless of the format, your written plan should answer these questions:

  • What could possibly go wrong during an assessment or treatment?

  • How is the adverse event recognized?

  • What steps need to be taken for each adverse event? And by whom?

  • Who needs to be notified?

  • What instructions or advice needs to be given to patients to manage the adverse events should it occur after the patient leaves your practice? (You should have already covered what could go wrong when you obtained informed consent from the patient!)

  • What follow up is needed? And what is the time frame?

Things to Consider

  • Keep your plan up to date — things change — make it a habit to review it annually or as needed.

  • Personalize your plan to match the kinds of things you do in practice. For example: if you only do acupuncture on knees, you don't need a plan for punctured lungs.

  • Make use of any plans for dealing with a specific adverse reaction you received as part of a training course you took.

  • Ensure your plan is easy to understand, accessible and communicated to anyone who might encounter a patient in distress. Remember, that the adverse event may be identified by a non-PT staff person — a receptionist, another health care provider, your employers or the patient.