Patients and Doctors Agree Improved Communication Will Reduce Medical Malpractice
According to PR Newswire, a new survey of both patients and doctors indicates both groups agree that improved doctor-patient communication will reduce the likelihood of medical malpractice lawsuits. The study focused on avoiding miscommunications that could lead to legal action by providing patients outlets to allow them to give immediate feedback. This information is more likely to be accurate and meaningful and doctors are more likely to act on the information.
The survey was commissioned by an insurance company that already provides its insured doctors the technology to facilitate immediate doctor-patient communication. CEO Maury Magids of Capson Physicians Insurance Company said the survey, “confirmed what [they] had already suspected” and the results should be used to shape the medical liability system.
In reality, the focus should not be on preventing medical malpractice lawsuits, but on actual medical mistakes. Better doctor-patient communication could help reduce the number of errors, but the burden should be on the doctor, who is meant to be an expert, rather than on the patient, who may not fully understand what is happening. Yes, patients should be given a way to immediately express what they think and how they feel to their doctors. But that should not absolve doctors of responsibility for their actions.