U of M's Policy to Disclose Errors Beneficial

Side Note: We here at MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com love what we are seeing happen in Michigan in regards to Michigan med mal –especially within the University of Michigan Health System. Even before the state of Michigan passed their “I’m Sorry” law, allowing physicians to apologize or express sympathy to patients for poor outcomes, and not have it be used against them in a med ma lawsuit, the University of Michigan Health System was well on its way in supporting this kind of behavior by its physicians. In fact, the University of Michigan has asked its physicians to go one step further and actually admit medical errors to their patients. Their policy, The U-M Health System approach to malpractice claims, is available in a summary format and it provides a really refreshing use of frank language and approach to discussing errors and their treatment both internally, as an organization, and externally, with the affected patient.

Since instituting the policy, the U of M Health System has seen dramatic changes in their med mal-related costs and incidents. First, they saw a decrease in new legal claims. Second, they saw a faster claim to resolution time. And, third, they saw lower medical liability costs. This includes a 61% reduction in hospital legal defense-related costs. (And, we would imagine that this would or has already resulted in lower Michigan med mal policy costs.) Another, harder to measure change, is an increase in patient safety.

All of this just confirms the many studies we have already seen that show open and honest communication, often with an apology, can help to reduce med mal claims.

Would you like to lower your Michigan liability policy rates? If so, take a moment today to complete our no-cost, no-obligation quote form.

U-M’s efforts to encourage disclosure of medical errors decreased claims
From: http://www2.med.umich.edu
Posted: August 16, 2010

Doctor apologizing to patient for medical errorAnn Arbor, Mich.– The University of Michigan’s program of full disclosure and compensation for medical errors resulted in a decrease in new claims for compensation (including lawsuits), time to claim resolution and lower liability costs, according to a study published Aug. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The need for full disclosure of harmful medical errors is driven by both ethics and patient safety concerns,” said lead study author, Allen Kachalia, M.D., J.D., Medical Director of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “However, because of fears that disclosing every medical error may lead to more malpractice claims and costs, disclosure may not happen as often and consistently as we would hope.”

For the original article, click here.

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