The best way to reduce medical malpractice lawsuits is to reduce the amount of malpractice. Sounds obvious but up to now, more attention has been placed on limiting the number of malpractice claims and the amount that can be awarded to victims of malpractice. Placing limits on the amount that a jury can award a victim of negligence or making it more difficult to file a lawsuit when a patient is injured by medical negligence is not the answer. In fact, the focus should be on the increased cost of medical care that is required when a doctor or hospital causes a preventable injury to a patient. By reducing avoidable medical errors, the cost of medical care (to treat the victim of medical negligence) will be reduced and the risk of medical negligence claims will be decreased.
By spending more money on improving patient safety initiatives and less on trying to prevent lawsuits from being filed when a patient is harmed by malpractice, we all will benefit. Patients will be safer …. Patients will have less reason to consult an attorney and the number of potential claims will dramatically decrease. A recent study has shown that by concentrating on reducing medical errors and injuries that result from preventable medical errors, the number of malpractice claims will be reduced. Thus, by concentrating on keeping patients safe, the cost of medical malpractice and the pressure on medical providers will be decreased.
Read the study from California at http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR824.html
The next time you are discussing the issue of whether we have a medical malpractice crisis in Ohio or in the U.S., respond by indicating that we have a crisis caused by too much medical malpractice (avoidable and preventable medical errors), not enough time or money being spent on preventing medical errors from occurring, and too much time and money being spent on denying victims of medical negligence full and fair compensation. Once we put matters into proper perspective, we will all realize that malpractice claims and litigation keep us all safe and sends a message to all concerned that if you harm someone, you should be held accountable. If you practice safe medicine, you are less likely to harm a patient and you will not be sued! The perceived medical malpractice crisis will be reduced when and if adverse outcomes from preventable medical errors are eliminated. Until then, the medical-legal team at Mishkind Kulwicki Law will continue to seek compensation for the injured and will not allow healthcare providers to avoid responsibility for the consequences of their preventable medical mistakes.