In the last column, documentation was discussed as the most important tool to avoid being sued for malpractice. The principle of “weighing the evidence in your favor” is primarily supported by comprehensive documentation. A lack of documentation on a specific task or behavior can lead to the conclusion by a judge or jury that the nurse failed to do that task or behavior, even though oral testimony has been given. Weighing the evidence simply means having different methods to validate or support evidence. If oral testimony is the only evidence available, that oral testimony can be attacked based on a lack of memory to recall details or the credibility of the witness. No witness wants to have his or her oral testimony used as the sole basis for a defense.

When the balance of evidence tips in favor of...

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