Doctors and patients agree: improved communication between them and tools that allow patients to provide immediate feedback are critical to having smooth doctor-patient relations and, in fact, can help prevent malpractice lawsuits. This was the key finding of a survey commissioned by Capson Physicians Insurance Company.
Maury Magids, Founder and CEO of Capson, says, “Our survey confirmed what we had suspected – that improved communication between doctors and patients and the availability of easy-to-use conflict prevention tools can improve the patient experience. This survey provides clear direction on simple, common-sense ways to improve our nation’s medical liability system.”
Conflict prevention tools allow patients to provide instant feedback to their providers; being able to provide a timely feedback means more accurate and valuable significant information are relayed by patients to their physicians who, in turn, are able to act upon the said information appropriately, according to 90 percent of doctors. In fact, 89 percent of doctors believe that if patients were given the opportunity to provide direct feedback at the time of service, most malpractice lawsuits that are ultimately dismissed or dropped could be completely avoided. Additionally, 70 percent of respondents say that doctor-patient conflicts in the office setting that often lead to legal action can also be prevented if communications breakdowns or miscommunications are avoided.
Survey findings also reveal that 99 percent of doctors believe patients can provide valuable insights about potential conflicts while 94 percent say formal complaints and claim flings can be decreased if patient satisfactions programs can be put in place to immediately let them know about patient concerns or areas that need improvement.
Magids adds, “Patient satisfaction is often a reliable predictor of malpractice risk. By implementing mechanisms that assess the level of satisfaction, physicians can prevent claims from occurring in the first place.”