Effects of Malpractice on the Healthcare Industry & Society

 Nataliya Stefanus
  May 21, 2019

No other word creates so much confusion and fear that the word 'malpractice' cause for healthcare providers. This is one topic which has been discussed extremely by the healthcare industry, media, and the insurance company.

Death due to medical negligence can be caused due to medical error, judgment error, inefficient staff, improper care, misplaced medical records and system error which concludes computer breakdowns that may cause mix up of medication.

How Malpractice Affects the Healthcare Industry and Society?

Improper or negligent patient treatment pay invite medical malpractice suits for the hospital and the doctor but they are not the only ones being affected by this scenario but the entire society pays for it in one way or another.

Patients have the option to get involved in a legal suit with the help of medical malpractice lawyers like Hastings for the negligent treatment or failure to diagnosis causing severe health deterioration or death. Even if the patient does not get involved in a legal suit, the news or rumor of the malpractice can spread soon and be a turnoff to many other potential consumers (patients) planning to visit the hospital. Existing patients may lose trust in the physician which may cause treatment disruptions.

Another issue with an increase in malpractice claims by patients is that the increase in the number of claims is making healthcare unaffordable to the Americans. With the legal suits becoming so common for medical malpractice, the insurance companies are trying to balance it out by charging high premiums which could be the leading cause in the increase of healthcare costs.

If this was not enough, there are other troubles which arise due to the fear of avoiding malpractice. Just to be absolutely sure and to create a defensive case report from the beginning, doctor's order many additional tests that are not necessary but covers all the grounds against the claim of negligence and medical malpractice charges.

The effects of a malpractice claim on physicians can be stressful as the settlement is not always between the lawyers and the insurance company only. This can cause damage to a physician's reputation and decrease confidence. There are many cases where it is the fault of the physician and the legal proceedings are just, but many times the physician is not at fault and it's the circumstances that lead to injury to the patient. Even if the physician is not at fault, it has been observed that just to avoid future litigation; these healthcare providers leave the industry and work in a related field which means the loss of a doctor.

How can a hospital avoid malpractices?

The hospital should aim to educate all of its staffs about the quality of treatment expected from them by the patients.

Communication is another important key which all the doctors and staffs need to be trained about. Communicating all the details of the diagnosis and the treatment with the patient and family makes sure that their expectation is realistic, and they are not over-expecting any drastic results or miracles. Operate on the patient or carry on any procedure only after getting consent from the patient or the family. Do not over-promise, be honest about the possible treatment results to stay out of such malpractice claims.

After a course of treatment, do not forget to arrange for follow-ups as many patients who claim for a malpractice complaint that their health deteriorated a few days after their procedure. Stay updated with the patient’s progress and keep a record of each visit and status of the patient’s health. This will guard you against malpractice risks and also will be beneficial for the recovery of the patient.

The hospital administration should be well familiarized with the effects of malpractices and a basic understanding of laws and policies regarding such negligence. Laws for medical malpractice differs from state to state and these laws are frequently revised within the jurisdiction hence it is also important to be aware of the latest standard updates and you should always comply with the updated standards.

The doctors and other supporting staffs must be trained to understand the patient's rights so that they are careful in imparting good care and in the worst case scenario be prepared for any suits that come their way as malpractice claims can be psychologically stressful and lead to negative publicity of the hospital.

How do patients protect themselves?

Patients are the ones who get most affected by malpractice as they lose on their health or their family members lose their loved one. On the other hand, malpractice claims can be stressful and would not bring back what is lost. Patients can protect themselves from all the misery by becoming wise consumers and demanding quality treatment from the hospital. A little awareness and alertness when it comes to your health along with getting treated from an efficient healthcare facility can avoid such mishaps and reduce the number of medical malpractice incidents.

Effects of Malpractice on the Healthcare Industry & Society

Nataliya Stefanus

Nataliya Stefanus is a freelance writer, communications/advertising strategist, lifestyle Enthusiast, passionate blogger and mother of 2 lovely daughters . She's passionate about adding value, helping people and businesses thrive in the most effective ways on digital media.

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