/ May 20, 2008

Sometimes Honesty Is The Best Policy ….

In terms of medical malpractice, a trend is starting to develop among doctors to start apologizing to the patient before bringing in the lawyers. This movement towards patient disclosure is an effort to increase trust in patient-doctor relationships and decrease the number of accidents that occur in the future. Although this move is one that would make most attorneys cringe, hospitals testing the new policy, including Johns Hopkins and Stanford, are finding positive results. With only 30% of medical errors typically reported in the past, the new tell-all policy has lowered the amount of malpractice suits by a significant amount at these institutions. These developments have led some malpractice lawyers to encourage their clients to disclose information to their faulted patients and offer compensation to hopefully prevent any impending lawsuits from being filed.

Legislation that would standardize disclosure practices has been in and out of Congress and probably not for the last time. The positive results associated with disclosure policies are quickly making it popular with institutions around the country, not to mention with the patients being treated. With doctors preferring to stay out of the courtroom and patients willing to accept upfront apologies along with fair compensation, it could be that the days of medical malpractice lawsuits are behind us.

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