In late November 2019, Paul McGivern, Q.C. joined two other top medical negligence lawyers from across Canada to share their knowledge with about 250 Alberta nurses. The all-day conference, presented in Calgary and Edmonton, was entitled Documentation: Your Best Defence. The program was aimed at educating nurses about the critical importance of documentation – with the dual purposes of promoting patient safety and helping nurses understand what lawyers look for when they review medical records.
Paul and his colleagues shared their experiences using landmark legal cases as their starting point. By using these real-life examples in which medical record documentation was carefully considered by the courts, the nurses were able to see how their work, and how they document their work, can be critical evidence in a medical negligence lawsuit.
According to Chris Rokosh, legal nurse consultant and president of Connect Medical Legal Experts, the conference was very well received by all of the nurses in attendance. All of the participants said they would recommend the course to a colleague, and nearly everyone said they were going to make changes to their documentation practices based on what they learned. They found the use of real case scenarios to be a real eye-opener, bringing into focus the critical importance of documentation in the care of their patients.