. Medical Complaint Expressions of dissatisfaction or concerns about a health care service made by consumers.
. 44,000-98,000 preventable deaths each year in U.S. hospitals. This is the equivalent of losing a jumbo jet airliner full of 122-270 passengers / day. [4 [4 ] medication errors : most common medical mistakes, 1.5 million people /yr. 7,000 people were estimated to die /yr from medication errors.
. Medical errors are associated with : Inexperienced physicians & nurses New procedures Extremes of age Complex & urgent care Poor communication Improper documentation Inadequate nurse-to-patient ratios Similarly named medications
. Miscommunication Failure to convey relevant medical information to key players in medical team & to patient/family Affect patient safety & quality health care Lower compliance Over investigation Reduce patient satisfaction
. Communication is the best Defense Against Medical Malpractice
. Researchers at State University of NY reported that claims related to communication failure increased from $21.7 million in 1991 to $91 million in 2010.
. Reasons for miscommunication Time issue for physicians Doctor manages a very high volume Patients referred to many specialists before a diagnosis is made Educational disparity between doctors & patients Doctor shopping Communication breakdowns between changing shifts
. Do not expect patients to have a prior understanding of the biology and treatment of medical condition Being positive and supportive is one thing, but manage expectations of each patient
. Best defense any doctor can have is excellent communication skills All medical professionals should develop a habit of writing down what has been communicated to patient. So if there is a lawsuit, documentation can be provided Informed consent
Dont Blame Express causation Respond anger with anger Panic if malpractice suit is threatened Inform about litigation opportunity
. Use of rationalization to cover up medical errors –"Why disclose the error? The patient was going to die anyway.« –"Telling the family about the error will only make them feel worse.« –"Well, we did our best. These things happen.« –It was the patient's fault. If he wasn't so (obese, sick, etc.), this error wouldn't have caused so much harm."