Medication errors, poor surgical techniques, and ineffective communication within a team of providers can result in patient harm and medical malpractice lawsuits.
Can standards of care be systematically improved to avoid patient harm and medical malpractice litigation? The answer is yes, and medical malpractice insurance professionals can work with healthcare providers and administrators to create a real patient safety culture. Here’s more on this important topic.
What Constitutes Patient Harm and How Does It Happen?
Patient harm is any unintended adverse reaction a patient has during the course of medical treatment. Harm is very wide-ranging and open to a degree of interpretation. That said, it is the doctor’s responsibility as team leader to “First, do no harm.”
What constitutes patient harm? Examples are:
- Hospital-acquired infections, including body-wide sepsis
- Missed diagnoses or incorrect diagnoses
- Patient falls
- Blood clots
- Bed sores and other pressure ulcers
- Transfusion mistakes
- Misidentification of patients and patient information, including wrong-site surgeries
Harm can result from these and other circumstances:
- Poor patient-provider communication
- Lack of patient education and informed consent
- Inefficient and/or inadequate provider training
- Inconsistent policies and regulations
- Inadequate technology training
Determining Patient Safety Initiatives and Optimizing Processes
Patient care plans and safety initiatives within a stand-alone clinic, multi-specialty medical practice, or large metropolitan medical center or hospital must be proactive rather than reactive. Physicians and other healthcare providers must consider how their actions will play out in the treatment process, not just now but in the long run, too. Accordingly, the use of real data to evaluate and monitor patient safety is paramount to long-term success in any medical specialty and avoid expensive and time-consuming medical malpractice claims.
Conversely, it is not wise to make changes in standards of care based only on adverse patient outcomes. While we all learn from mistakes, it is better to consider carefully the possible risks involved in all aspects of patient care–from initial assessment to care planning to prescribing medicines and therapies to performing the most complex of surgeries.
Thankfully, a high-quality medical malpractice insurance company keeps well abreast of medical advancements. It works to educate its policyholders on how to change their medical practices to improve patient safety and therapeutic outcomes and avoid high levels of risk.
Medical Liability Insurance for Every Healthcare Specialty
A high-volume, reliable medical malpractice insurance broker, eQuoteMD shops for and delivers multiple quotes from A++ companies. We assist providers in all 50 states and every specialty gets custom-tailored insurance coverage at the best possible rates. Whether you are a physician just starting out, a seasoned veteran, or switching from employment from medical center to private practice, we can get you the protection you need.
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