REP 5 - Mandatory reports: what you don’t know can still hurt you
Last year, my brother-in-law got a new boss. After a few days of working with her, he became concerned about her behaviour.
He noticed some red flags.
After discussing it with a few of his colleagues, they all realized that they were all observing some clear signs of cognitive decline. My brother-in-law had just lost his grandmother to dementia and was familiar with her cognitive decline.
As they did not know what to do, he and his team brought this delicate issue to the attention of their vice-president.
As the leader of a large physiotherapy team, I started to wonder what I would do if faced with this situation.
I didn’t know.
I started off with a visit to my regulator’s website, which led me to read up on mandatory reports. I was very familiar with the need to report sexual abuse, child abuse and elder abuse.
I’m embarrassed to say that I was less familiar with my obligations as an employer to report if I believed that one of the PTs was incompetent or suffering from a health condition that was affecting their ability to practice physiotherapy safely.
I even found out that failing to make a mandatory report could result in court proceedings and hefty fines.
I’m relieved that I didn’t have to deal with a situation like my brother-in-law’s. But I realized that if I had, then I would have been unprepared. I decided that it was time to review all of the standards of practice and to make this an annual review.
I hope that sharing my story will inspire some of you to review your obligations with regards to mandatory reporting.
What do you think?
1. As an employer, were you aware that you have an obligation to report if you believe that one of your PTs was incompetent or suffering from a health condition that was affecting their ability to practice physiotherapy safely?
2. What else should physiotherapy team leaders know about that they might not think of?
Check your regulatory body’s requirements about mandatory reporting.
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