2Malpractice ManualMedical malpractice litigation is one of the few matters in healthcare that triggers much anger and anguish amid healthcare practitioners. Litigants' lawyers and several patients see a lawsuit as an essential method of safety against medical negligence. Moreover, the high percentages of medical errors fortify the positions of the litigation attorneys, who see themselves as champions of patients' safety. With the malpractice crisis spreading across the United States, itis important to analyze the impact of malpractice in healthcare and patient care. Also, it is vital toscrutinize the process available after adverse medical events, and the legal requirements of healthcare reform to find and enforce the best strategies that will help to avoid the high malpractice rates in the healthcare system (Studdert, Mello, & Brennan, 2004). Analysis of the Stages and Impact of Malpractice in HealthcareThe impact of malpractice on patients is obvious when the details of the claim are revealed, but there is an impact on the healthcare organization, physicians, and the entire healthcare system that is not as obvious. Healthcare organizations and physicians involved face monetary penalties based on the judgment of the malpractice claim, but there are other impacts that never make the headlines.The most common beginnings of a malpractice claim involve five types of allegations: failure to properly document, failure to follow standards of care, failure to assess and monitor patient’s condition, failure to use equipment responsibly, and failure to communicate (Reising, 2012). Once a claim is filed, the healthcare organization and physicians must begin the process of depositions and pleadings to prepare for trial (Jenkins & Lemak, 2007). Following depositionsand pleadings some cases may be settled out of court. The average settlement amount in inpatientclaims settled out-of-court is $363.000; cases that make it to trial have an average award of $799,000 (Gougen, n.d.).A few examples of malpractice claims include an anesthesiologist causing the cardiac arrest of a patient undergoing surgery when they fail to have an ample supply of oxygen, the
3improper setting of a bone fracture that results in permanent damage, performing an unnecessary surgery that results in the patient becoming addicted to pain medications, and a medication that has been noted to have allergic reactions is given to the patient (Medical Malpractice Newsletter, n.d.). According to Baicker and Chandra (2004), the delivery of healthcare is affected by the above examples and other medical malpractice liability costs by the increase in malpractice insurance premiums and the practice of defensive medicine. These affects may cause the
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healthcare providers, Medical malpractice, Adverse event, Malpractice