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FAQ of the Week: My clinic administrator stated that if we are ACLS certified, and simply provide care exactly as listed in the ACLS algorithms, ...

FAQ of the Week: My clinic administrator stated that if we are ACLS certified, and simply provide care exactly as listed in the ACLS algorithms, ...

My clinic administrator stated that if we are ACLS certified, and simply provide care exactly as listed in the ACLS algorithms, we will be protected from medical malpractice suits. Is this correct?

The Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) program is a training program. The “algorithms” were developed to assist users in remembering a large body of information. Simply being able to regurgitate dozens of clinical interventions does not assure proper care.

Proper treatment of critically ill patients requires an understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, therapeutics, etc. Blindly following a list rather than developing a treatment plan based on the patient’s condition might result in suboptimal care. Furthermore, medical science is dynamic. Practitioners have a duty to stay reasonably informed about current literature and changes in professional practice.

While ACLS training may provide the tools needed to support good practice, no plastic card provides protection from tort litigation based on improper care.

AMRI Staff

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