When this reform was implemented it brought to light all the mistakes and errors that providers are making. Placing focus on the patient’s quality and their safety, the reform has now made it a legal requirement that a provider must obtain the patient’s consent to disclose their medical information and to whom they are disclosing it to (Ramanujam, Keyser & Sirio, n.d.). Because the law mandates that all individuals should have medical coverage this increases the patient load for the provider. Increasing their work load, but not increasing staff can cause providers to be overworked and can cause them to make mistakes. These mistakes are the reason malpractice lawsuits exist. A malpractice reform would assist with this process by increasing the focus on patient care and quality and develop an efficient compensation system that would benefit all involved (Harris, 2014). Strategies to Avoid Medical Malpractice. The society we live in today is very litigious. Patient satisfaction and quality have become a major focus in healthcare. Physicians must find ways to keep their patients satisfied to reduce distress and complaints.
Most people sue their doctors because they are dissatisfied or have unmet expectations. Although many patients have unrealistic expectations, doctors must find ways to meet their needs. Active listening and effective communication is one strategy to avoid malpractice. Effective communication with patient and family members is the best way to mitigate risk (Kremier, 2013). Doctors must make sure they are honest, build a rapport and are being sensitive to patient’s needs. Failure to communicate thoroughly leads to patients and family feeling devalued or deserted (Tiemeier, 2015). Doctors need to take the time to explain procedures and medical health adverse outcomes. Patients and families tend to be more forgiving when health care providers communicate efficiently. In addition to explaining the procedure and possible risk, providers and health care workers need to have patients to sign informed consents (Kremier, 2013). Providers must ask if patients and families have questions concerning procedures. Also avoiding malpractice is continuing education for providers. Physicians should make sure they are up to date in training on their organization’s systems, standards of practice, and clinical skills (Kremier, 2013). Physicians must make sure they are diagnosing correctly and referring a respective specialist. Furthermore, follow-up of diagnostic tests and specialist referrals is a way to avoid medical liability (Kremier, 2013). Physicians must make sure they are ordering proper x-rays, laboratory test, and referrals. Doctors must document when patients do not follow through on these suggestions. Documentation is an important aspect in reducing malpractice issues. Moreover, documentation that is clear and concise will help doctors avoid litigation. Finally, physicians must be honest and not be evasive when an adverse medical outcome occurs.
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- Fall '14
- Physician, Medical malpractice