Monday, May 19, 2008

New York Times is reporting an interesting trend where some hospitals and physicians are taking a "disclose and apologize" approach to medical gaffes. So rather than trying to hide their mistakes, they're actually going to patients right away, telling them what they did wrong, and apologizing. Initial evidence suggests this is drastically reducing the number of lawsuits: possibly because under the "old" system of denial, patients really only had one recourse.

Mr. Boothman emphasized that he could not know whether the decline was due to disclosure or safer medicine, or both. But the hospital’s legal defense costs and the money it must set aside to pay claims have each been cut by two-thirds, he said. The time taken to dispose of cases has been halved.

It ain't much, but it's nice to have some good news on my morning RSS feeds.

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