Medical malpractice is defined as improper or negligent treatment of a patient by a healthcare professional. Every year, thousands of patients in the United States sue healthcare providers for medical malpractice, leading to expensive lawsuits that cost hospitals and other medical facilities millions upon millions of dollars. Consequently, hospital administrators and other healthcare organization leaders are constantly searching for affordable and effective methods to mitigate the risk of these lawsuits to protect their bottom line. We’d also be remiss not to mention the fact that medical malpractice cases can cause tremendous damage to the careers of healthcare employees and the overall reputation of their facility, further necessitating protection measures from these legal complications. Thankfully, by incorporating on-site or virtual medical scribes into its medical teams, a healthcare organization can significantly improve the accuracy of patient’s medical charts and electronic health records (EHRs), reducing its risk of malpractice lawsuits in the process.
At Elite Medical Scribes, we take pride in providing healthcare systems with all of the resources and support they need to succeed and grow while achieving exceptional health solutions for their patients. That’s why we offer industry-leading medical scribe services to improve clinician efficiency, productivity, work-life balance, and documentation accuracy, resulting in superior patient care, clinician job satisfaction, and protection from medical malpractice lawsuits. In this article, we’ll be discussing three incredibly effective strategies that your healthcare organization can use to reduce its risk of litigation.
3 Strategies to Prevent Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
1. Stay Updated on Your State’s Medical Malpractice Laws
Before you can protect your medical team from malpractice lawsuits, you need to understand the specific laws and standards that your facility will be held to. Unfortunately, medical malpractices can differ drastically depending on which state your facility operates in, and these state laws are constantly shifting in response to the latest breakthroughs and shifts in healthcare policies and technology. Fortunately, there are a number of online resources and references that you can use to gain a better understanding of medical litigation laws pertaining to your state, helping you to prepare for and prevent potential legal actions from future patients.
2. Foster Healthy Relationships and Interactions Between Staff and Patients
Some individuals in the field of healthcare fall under the false assumption that greed and selfishness are the primary factors that motivate legal actions against clinicians. In actuality, there are many factors that drive patients to sue, including anger and lack of satisfaction with how they are treated by their clinicians and staff. In fact, many studies analyzing the connection between patient-physician relationships and medical malpractice claims have found that doctors who establish open lines of communication and trust with their patients are significantly less likely to be sued in the event of a potential case of malpractice.
In many cases, clinicians and medical staff who are working with difficult or confrontational patients will try to avoid them and take steps to make these interactions as short and frank as possible. This behavior is perfectly understandable, but it’s important to remember that impersonal actions like these can cause patients to walk away from interactions with your facility with strong feelings of anger and dissatisfaction, two traits that can compel them to file a lawsuit at the smallest hint of trouble. Many of these potential legal charges can be avoided entirely by ensuring that your team treats each and every patient, regardless of how unpleasant they may be, with respect and compassion at all times. Not only will these efforts improve patient-physician relationships (a key component of patient care that improves health outcomes), but they will also play a large role in making your organization synonymous with outstanding patient service and care, boosting your reputation and giving you an edge over competitors.
3. Make Use of Medical Scribes
By increasing the accuracy and security of your facility’s EHRs, medical scribes play a significant role in protecting healthcare teams from major HIPAA violations. Also, bear in mind that effective and error-free medical dictation can assist healthcare organizations with battling against medical malpractice lawsuits. If one of your clinicians is taken to court for medical malpractice, their patient records for that specific case will be used by the defense attorney to prove which exact treatment procedures and diagnostic approaches were used. With the assistance of medical scribes, all clinician documentation will be accurate and clear, ensuring that the outcomes of the lawsuit are based on solid facts rather than loose recollections and conjecture.
Hire Elite Medical Scribes for Your Healthcare Organization
Be sure to call or message us today if you would like to learn more about Elite’s industry-leading scribe services. Whether you’re interested in establishing an entirely new scribe program for your facility or enhancing an existing one, our passionate team will work with you every step of the way to design and implement a scribing solution that provides your clinicians with exceptional documentation support that results in superior patient care and outstanding, measurable results. Last but not least, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about medical scribes and EHR conversion. We’re happy to help you with anything you need.