Poor communication from doctors to patients has been continuously cited in a variety of studies as one of the main reasons why there are lawsuits. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology discovered that there is a correlation between communication failures and malpractice awards. Researchers at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn reported that claims related to the three most common types of communication failures increased from $21.7 million in 1991 to $91 million in 2010.
“Based on the studies that have been done on medical malpractice lawsuits, I believe the best defense any doctor can have is excellent communication skills,” says Michael Kataf of Nexus Insurance Services. “In addition to that, all medical professionals should develop a habit of writing down what has been communicated to the patient. So if there is a lawsuit, documentation can be provided.”
Being positive and supportive is one thing, but it’s important to manage the expectations of each patient.
“Doctors should communicate all the risks that can occur when a patient is undergoing any treatment or procedure. Even though everyone hopes for the best, nothing is 100% guaranteed,”
Not only is communication between doctors and patients important, but communication between medical professionals and hospital staff is just as vital. There is a chance that someone will document something important, but forget to include it in a patient’s chart. Communication breakdowns can also occur between changing shifts when people are eager to go home and forget to inform the next person of any new updates or concerns regarding patients.
“Although something may be written down in a patient’s chart, it never hurts for medical professionals to communicate verbally to each other any important findings or treatments performed. Information can be misinterpreted or overlooked, so simply having a quick verbal exchange can make a difference in the transfer of information,”
# # #
About Nexus Insurance Services
Nexus Insurance Services is a professional insurance broker that has helped many doctors, lawyers, realtors, and business owners gain access to insurance providers for their practice or business. The company's mission is to be a firm that brings real value to clients, builds personal relationships on top of business ones, and always conducts itself with sincerity, integrity and fairness. Because of the relationships with many providers, the company is able to shop a client's application around to get the best rates. Contact Nexus Insurance for a free, no obligation quote for medical malpractice insurance, professional liability insurance, or workers compensation insurance. For more information, visit: http://www.nexus-