The Importance of Saying Sorry – Healthcare Litigation and Proactive Risk Management

Editor’s note: This month we are pleased to welcome guest blogger Pamela Popp, executive vice president/chief risk officer for Western Litigation. Pamela has great insights about a topic near and dear to EDGE: Applying lessons learned from jury research to inform policies and risk-management in the healthcare industry.

Pamela's Portrait B&W

Jury research has long been an important tool for understanding risk in healthcare litigation. It tells us that among the many factors that lead to high-damage verdicts, poor patient care (as defined by jurors) is at the top of the list, edging out other factors such as scientific causation. Jurors feel better about patient care when patients are fully informed by their healthcare providers about their treatment – mistakes and all.

Healthcare providers can put this knowledge to use long before a case reaches trial or settlement, by being proactive and fully informing patients about their care – mistakes and all – at the time a mistake is made or discovered. And the benefits are not limited to providers; patients also benefit from disclosure. But why? And how should healthcare professionals go about disclosing mistakes to their patients? Go here to find out.

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