If patients could buy “negative outcome” insurance, the number of malpractice suits would decline dramatically, and the high cost of medical services would come down.
The conventional wisdom used to be that apologizing to a patient was like talking to a cop: Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
A jury awarded nearly $217 million in damages to a Tampa man left brain-damaged when emergency-room doctors misdiagnosed stroke symptoms. After a three-week civil trial, just over $100 million in punitive damages were added to the original verdict of $116.7 million for compensatory damages.
Patients are at greater risk of medication errors when clinicians order drugs in person or via telephone, according to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory, an independent state agency. It recommends a read-back procedure in which the person receiving the order writes it down, reads it back, and gets confirmation that the prescription was understood correctly.
The overall frequency of medical malpractice claims has not increased for the second straight year, according to figures reported by a representative sampling of 700 health-care facilities and systems nationwide.