Physical Therapist and Marketing Expert, Nitin Chhoda, Educates Private Practice Owners on How to Avoid Negligence in Their Practice

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Compared to a larger institution, smaller practices face a greater fear if filed with a negligence suit. Nitin Chhoda, a licensed physical therapist and international private practice marketing expert, recently released information explaining the four Ds of negligence to private practice owners.

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Most healthcare practice owners will not have their reputation damaged or have less clientele due to the malpractice suit. However, medical professionals should know that they could be liable through the actions of their staff.

Most patients simply have one goal: to get better. Although most patients have the best intentions, some patients in the medical industry are simply looking for a malpractice suit. International private practice marketing expert, Nitin Chhoda, says that there are four Ds of negligence. These include duty, dereliction, direct cause and damage.

According to Chhoda, healthcare practice owners might or might not have their reputation damaged or have less clientele due to the malpractice suit. However, medical professionals should know that they could be liable through the actions of their staff. "In order to avoid the four Ds of negligence, medical staff in physical therapy private practice office has to follow proper procedures on a day-to-day basis," he said.

The first of the four Ds, duty, refers to clinicians and staff having to perform a duty to their patients. Staff in physical therapy private practice office must provide the most accurate diagnosis and care while using their education and experience to help heal the patient. Physical therapy office staff has a duty to inform patients of any potential problems they observe during an examination. In the meantime, physical therapy staff is under no obligation to provide medical information about any condition they notice with strangers in the office.

Chhoda said that the dereliction of duty is the second of the four Ds of negligence that refers to any actions a physical therapist may fail to take. Failing to perform an action can have as much impact on a patient as simply performing an action that affects a patient, and healthcare staff can be held responsible for any injuries or damages it could cause. Chhoda says, “If a medical professional observes a skin condition that could be cancer but neglects to inform the client, it’s a breach of duty.”

The third D of negligence is direct cause. Chhoda said that this is when a medical professional knew about a potential risk, did not inform the patient and the client was injured as a result. The medical professional is now the direct cause of the patient’s injury and is at fault.

The last D of negligence is damages. This refers to the damages patients can collect in a lawsuit. Damages are a form of financial compensation to the patient due to negligence and can include lost wages, medical expenses and mental duress.

The most important thing for medical professionals and private physical therapy offices to remember is to be vigilant. They must also know when to say something to a patient and when not to. By following these simple rules, physical therapy offices have a better chance of succeeding if ever faced with a medical lawsuit.

Chhoda’s office can be reached by phone at 201-535-4475. For more information, visit the website at


Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an entrepreneur. He is the author of "Physical Therapy Marketing For The New Economy" and “Marketing for Physical Therapy Clinics” and is a prolific speaker, writer and creator of products and systems to streamline medical billing and coding, electronic medical records, health care practice management and marketing to increase referrals. He has been featured in numerous industry magazines, major radio and broadcast media, and is the founder of Referral Ignition training systems and the annual Private Practice Summit. Chhoda speaks extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia. He is also the creator of the Therapy Newsletter and Clinical Contact, both web-based services to help private practices improve communication with patients, delivery better quality of care and boost patient retention.

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