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Digital Health Tools May Lower The Risk Of Malpractice Lawsuits

Medical malpractice can lead to serious personal injury, permanent disability, and, even death. Losses, in addition to the loss of health, may include future income, love, companionship, and more. Families of the victims suddenly may be burdened with emotional and financial upheaval.

MIEC, an Oakland, Calif.-based medical liability insurer is initiating a study based on evidence that a breakdown in communication between medical provider and patient plays a role in malpractice suits. Their end goal of their effort is to decrease the number of malpractice claims brought against a doctor or hospital.

The company’s study is designed to determine to what degree increased doctor-patient communication affects the number and cost of malpractice claims to a physician. According to Forbes (10.29.14), 60 orthopedic surgeons will participate in the study. Orthopedic surgeons are a group that typically has a high number of malpractice claims.

As part of the study, the surgeons will use a mobile and web-based communication tool made by HealthLoop. This platform allows them to connect with their patients between visits and-or following surgery. With HealthLoop, patients will receive communication including automatically generated phone calls, emails and-or text messages. Patients may receive questions and educational tips such as “elevate your leg 2 to 3 times a day for 30 minutes.” Symptoms, such as fever, can also be reported and then followed-up on by the doctor’s office, said Forbes.

The belief is that improved communication will result in fewer claims. The studies the company used were said to show that “doctors with the highest number of lawsuits were more likely to have patients who were unhappy about not having their phone calls returned.” The individuals had reported feeling “ignored, rushed, and uncertain about their treatment plan,” said Forbes.

The expectation is that patients will not sue a doctor that is liked. It will be interesting to see if technology can adequately substitute for actual personal interaction with a doctor and decrease medical malpractice lawsuits.

Medical malpractice isprofessional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. Every year thousands of people across the U.S. are seriously injured or die as a result of avoidable medical mistakes. Injuries suffered as a result of medical negligence can be serious and life changing. Medical malpractice compensation can include economic damages for medical expenses, lost income, and the cost of rehabilitation.

A malpractice lawyer can help individuals who suspect that they or someone they love is a victim of medical malpractice.

The Forbes article cited is “Can Digital Health Tools Lower The Risk Of Malpractice Lawsuits?”


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