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Combating medical malpractice with accountability

When it comes to preventable medical mistakes and injuries, many patients have to go out of their way to find out what happened to them because their physician and/or medical facility is not forthright about the errors that occurred. Issues concerning medical malpractice claims and other factors are known to prevent doctors from disclosing information concerning possible negligence. However, some argue that full transparency on the part of medical professionals could benefit Massachusetts medical patients and providers alike.

Some within the medical industry are promoting increased transparency on the part of physicians, medical teams and medical facilities in order to improve patient safety. They argue that honesty and accountability is necessary for patients and doctors alike, as it allows for open communication, understanding and education. Unfortunately, however, those calling for transparency in the medical field concede that many ingrained assumptions within the industry prevent full accountability.

The full disclosure of information, and medical mistakes, is apparently discouraged within the healthcare industry over concerns regarding everything from medical malpractice claims to the tainting of a person or establishment’s professional reputation. Interestingly though, proponents of medical transparency and accountability argue that incidents of complaints and malpractice proceedings actually decrease when effective professional monitoring procedures are implemented.

It is explained that transparency between physicians and patients goes a long way to encourage trust, while also allowing patients to be informed and empowered to manage their own care and treatment. It is also explained that actively investigating and accounting for incidents of preventable medical mistakes and negligence is a crucial part of identifying system-wide problems, which translates into improved patient care and safety.

Source: Health Affairs Blog, “You Can’t Understand Something You Hide: Transparency As He Path To Improve Patient Safety,” Robert Wachter, Gary S. Kaplan, Tejal Gandhi, Lucian Leape, June 22, 2015


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