Despite the best efforts of health care professionals, bad things can happen in hospitals. Up until more recently, when errors occurred, the scenario that played out was always the same. Clinicians, devastated but fearful of litigation, would shut down. Patients and their families, grieving but desperate to make sense of the event, would find that their doctors and nurses were no longer responsive or available. Eventually, the most important relationship in health care, that between patient and doctor, would cede to the most adversarial one, that between plaintiff and defendant.Click here to access Dr. Chen's column. Click here to access "Liability Claims and Costs Before and After Implementation of a Medical Error Disclosure Program" (abstract) in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
“Everybody worries that disclosure will lead to liability going through the roof,” said Dr. Allen Kachalia, lead author and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “But here’s one institution that set up their disclosure program privately and independently, helped their patients avoid using the courts and tort system, and did not sustain the skyrocketing claims and costs that others might have predicted.”
Friday, August 20, 2010
Medical errors and disclosure
From Dr. Chen's New York Times column: