Defending Documentation Related Complaints Before the Missouri Board of Nursing
Missouri nurses frequently face accusations of misconduct related to documentation from the Board of Nursing. Documentation related complaints may include allegations of false documentation, dishonesty, drug diversion, unethical conduct, or unprofessional conduct. These cases are often extremely complex due to the amount of records involved. Successfully defending these complaints requires an attorney with knowledge of nursing practice, electronic medical records, medication documentation platforms, and Missouri law. If you receive a complaint from the Board of Nursing involving your documentation practices, contact Dolley Law, LLC today.
Defending Nurses Against Documentation Related Allegations
Practicing nurses know that documentation is one of the most important—and frequently most difficult—parts of their jobs. Nurses must document regarding patients’ medications, condition, and treatment “in the moment.” Practicing nurses also know that patient care and the realities of nursing may delay or prevent documentation. Nurses are frequently pulled in three different directions, and patient care is always their first priority. Medication scanners break and computers crash. Colleagues do not always follow through on their documentation.
Unfortunately, documentation may lead an employer or the Board to suspect misconduct. Nurses may face allegations of false, misleading, or missing documentation. This can lead to additional suspicion and allegations of drug diversion, drug use, dishonesty, and improper patient care. Reviewing, understanding and addressing the underlying documentation that led to the complaint is critical. Effective defense of these cases requires understanding how the employer’s various systems (such as Pyxis, Omnicell, or Epic) work and interact with each other. Knowledge of hospital policies and practices is also needed. Attorneys must potentially review hundreds or even thousands of pages of records to successfully refute allegations related to documentation. Dolley Law, LLC has the resources, knowledge, and skill to effectively defend these cases and has successfully represented many Missouri nurses in these cases.
Missouri Board of Nursing Standards in Documentation Cases
Missouri registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and advanced practice registered nurses may be disciplined for a variety of documentation-related conduct under Missouri law, including:
- Unethical conduct
- Unprofessional conduct
- Failure to accurately document or report the status of a patient
- Falsely documenting or reporting the status of a patient
- Violation of a professional trust or confidence
- Violation of drug laws or regulations
Nurses often face complaints for failing to document the administration, withdrawal, or waste of narcotics or other medications. This in turn may lead to allegations of drug diversion, misappropriation, use, or theft. These allegations often arise in situations where nurses document late, fail to document, or document in a different location, such as nursing notes rather than a patient’s EMR. Documentation allegations may also involve allegations of failure to provide patient care, perform assessments, or otherwise perform nursing duties.
The process starts with a complaint to the Board and proceeds through the disciplinary process. Complaints that are not dismissed or resolved by settlement may result in an evidentiary hearing before the Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC). Nurses accused of misconduct have the right to see the evidence against them, testify on their own behalf, call witnesses, and present evidence. If a nurse successfully defends against the Board’s allegations, the case ends with a finding that the nurse is not subject to discipline.
If a nurse is found subject to discipline, there is a second hearing before the Board. TDolley Law, LLC represents clients in disciplinary hearings before the Board and presents mitigating evidence and legal arguments on their behalf. The Firm’s attorneys also counsel and advise clients on settlement agreement terms and the appropriate course of action for each case.
Many nurses decide to represent themselves before the Board. These are legal proceedings that may include trial-type hearings in which witnesses testify and evidence is presented. If you are notified of a nursing board complaint made against you or have a complaint pending before the Administrative Hearing Commission, contact Dolley Law, LLC to discuss possible representation. The Firm’s attorneys work with nurses in all phases of documentation cases, from responding to the initial complaint to negotiating settlement terms to conducting hearings. Our attorneys will work with you to evaluate the allegations, discuss the factors upon which the Board of Nursing evaluates these cases, and explain your options. In each case, Dolley Law, LLC provides aggressive, experienced representation designed to protect nurses’ licenses and careers.
Contact Dolley Law, LLC regarding a documentation related complaint at (314) 645-4100 to schedule a consultation.