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Does Better Communication with Patients Result in Fewer Lawsuits?

We recently read an article at The New York Times that we wanted to share with you: “To Be Sued Less, Doctors Should Consider Talking to Patients More” by Aaron Carroll. It aggregates some interesting studies, and we hope you’ll take time to read it. Its basic premise is that good relationships with patients are important not only to patient health but also, according to Carroll, “Doctors sued most often were complained about by patients twice as much as those who were not, and poor communication was the most common complaint.”

In addition, Carroll writes, “About two-thirds of both groups – doctors and patients – thought that improved communication could reduce future malpractice litigation.” It’s something MLMIC is hearing from our Claims Free Discount (CFD) customers, as well. These policyholders, who qualify for a 7.5% discount, have been claims free for at least five years. We surveyed them regarding their thoughts about how they’ve remained claims free, and many felt that effective communication has played a role.

We’re working on a detailed report of that survey for a Fall Dateline, so please stay tuned in October. In the meantime, the benefits of effective communication with patients are covered in many of our risk management programs. We invite you to explore that online resource. And as always, get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Posted in Hospitals, Physicians

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