Medical Malpractice – Lack of Communication is the Biggest Cause!!

03rd February 2011
By Muhammad Saad in Medical Malpractice
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Every year all around the pleading world, there are thousands of people get ill, the world is narrowing for a human life, advancement has given fruits to us but also bring us the fears of global warming, pollution, and the ever increasing rate of newer diseases. In this scenario the medical care standards has gone down to a very low in past two decades and the medical malpractice is risen up into an inverse proportion.

The biggest reason which is administered all over is the lack of free-communication, even The Joint Commission, a nearly 100 year old hospital standards and oversight organization, has indicated that nearly 80% of serious medical errors and medical mistakes are caused by poor communication between heath care providers or health care teams or with the patient to doctor and the doctor to patient. This is really a very serious matter and it has increased the risks of medical malpractice significantly.

Faulty communication is among the most common underlying causes of medical malpractice error and frequently erodes the doctor-patient relationship. Communication should be understood in the broadest sense, including nonverbal, oral, and written.

We can definitely minimize the risk of medical malpractice by practicing good medicine and by communicating with the patients in an open and caring manner. Here I am listing some of the basic things to remember while communicating to your patients.

1. Bonding with the Patients is essential – establish good relationship with patients, relatives, and hospital and office staff. It will ultimately help you to understand you patient psyche and it will make your patient more comfortable to tell you all about his illness or condition.

2. Rationale – Identify the patient at the beginning about an acceptable plan of diagnosis and treatment, which will not only made your patient ready before the treatment but also protect him from a medical malpractice due to un-aware allergies and reactions.

3. Records – Patient medical care and medication records are extremely helpful which eradicates the chances of misdiagnosis and wrong medication. Document the treatment & performance of it.

4. Remarks – avoid offhand and gratuitous as well as “silent comments”.

5. Register – to prevent contraindications, interactions, and allergies to drugs.

6. Res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself) – if the matter speaks for itself, make prompt and adequate restitution.

7. Respect – show respect for the patient’s wishes, background, and culture

8. Results – enumerate the possibilities in advance; communicate both good and bad probable results to remove the chances of claim of medical malpractice by a patient.

9. Risks – discuss risks fully preceding and informed consent.

Many communication errors that end up as medical malpractice can be avoided by common sense - telling the patient their diagnosis, the follow up care and tests they need, the medical specialists they need to see, etc. And by referring to a relevant specialist when the illness becomes serious which can eradicate the chances of medical malpractice when there is the situation of diagnosing a serious or life threatening condition, like a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot.

Muhammad Saad Khan is a Research Analyst at Q2 Group. Q2 is specialized in medical credentialing, primary source verification, and medical license verification according to the standards of joint commission international. For more about medical malpractice cases, please visit
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