Presentation on theme: "How to Avoid Malpractice Claims And lead a “Richer” life."— Presentation transcript:
How to Avoid Malpractice Claims And lead a “Richer” life
Some Malpractice Statistics One in Fourteen Physicians are sued each year. 7.4% of Physicians have a claim each year. Almost guaranteed that a new physician who practices 25 will have at least one med-mal claim. Claims vary widely between specialties—e.g., Surgeons have the highest rate, 15% for general surgeons, almost 20% for neurosurgeons. Family medicine about 5.2%, 3.1% for pediatric specialists and 2.6% for psychiatry. By age 65, 75% of physicians in “low-risk” specialties have faced one or more malpractice claims, while 99% of physicians in ”high-risk” specialties had faced one or more claims. Mean payout is almost $275,000; Median payout is almost $111,749. Mean payout ranged from $117,832 for dermatological claims to $520,943 for pediatric claims.
The “good news”: Only 1.6% of physicians have a claim leading to any payout— due either to settlement or jury verdict. 78% of all claims resulted in no payment—either through a defense verdict or a voluntary or court-imposed dismissal of the case. Many states have already passed med-mal reform laws, which have helped curb the number of cases filed as well as the value of med-mal payouts after settlement or trial. Of those states who have not adopted some sort of legislative tort reform, many are considering such reform laws.
THESE STATISTICS DO NOT BEGIN TO TELL THE WHOLE STORY…. 7 “EASY” STEPS TO A MED-MAL LAWSUIT Miscommunication Unmet patient/family expectations Un-remediated expectations No personal connection Poor record keeping; Poor staff interaction; Poor follow-up Anger A tool
10 Ways to Avoid a Medical Malpractice Claim Be competent and do not tolerate incompetence of. Be a great communicator—with everybody in the care chain. Be Empathic. Establish a personal connection with the patient and involved family. Monitor unmet/unrealistic expectations and adjust as truth, prudence and good care dictate. Be a team player. Chart accurately and wisely. Involve others early when there is a problem---risk management, legal counsel, department head/other colleagues you trust, etc. (clergy, family, non-medial friends.) Keep control of the problem before a lawsuit is filed (and the case itself after a lawsuit is filed.) Do not be afraid to say you are sorry.
AVOIDING MALPRACTICE IN AND OF ITSELF IS A CRITICAL GOAL, BUT IT DOES NOT MEAN: You should not take risks You never go “against the grain” You don’t go “out on limbs” You don’t always put the patient first You don’t take “the road less traveled” You let risk managers, lawyers and employers dictate your course of dealing with YOUR patients You should not care as much You should always do the safe thing There is any time that you should not do “the right thing”…no matter what!