Spinal Screenings, Risk & Standard of Care

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
Spinal Screenings, Risk & Standard of Care

Are you Violating the Standard of Care?

Chiropractic spinal screenings are an important part of public health efforts and community education in regards to our professional responsibilities. Most chiropractors who practice in a family, subluxation, wellness model feel an ethical imperative to tell as many people as possible about the dangers of unchecked subluxations and the benefits of regular chiropractic care.

That's good. Given that the profession feels this is a significant public health issue then screenings and public education events are a necessary component of getting the word out and changing behavior.

Please understand however that it is your state law that determines the standard of care that you must practice under. Doing screenings does not mean that you can practice below the standard of care.

I realize this may be new information to many practicing chiropractors who have been doing screenings for years and will say "hey, I never had any problems".

That's good. But as a colleague of mine is fond of saying in his risk management classes:

"It's never a problem until its a problem."

Doing screenings without a proper history, examination, documentation, consent etc is leaving you wide open to run afoul of your board and to become the victim of an aggressive plaintiff's attorney.

Making matters worse is when chiropractors decide to go ahead and "treat" or adjust during their screenings. I would urge you not to do this.

If the subluxation is as bad as we think it is and if someone has had one for many years, then it's in everyone's best interest to do a complete and proper evaluation before proceeding with care.

Read your state law and the rules promulgated by your licensing board before you embark on your spinal screenings. This way there will be no surprises.

Just another perspective.

As always, I look forward to your feedback, questions and comments.

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
CEO & Co-Founder
ChiroFutures Malpractice Program

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program