WITH IMPROVED PHYSICIAN-PATIENT COMMUNICATION, MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUITS CAN BE PREVENTED
AUSTIN, TX, September 13, 2011 — A new survey of doctors and patients found that both groups overwhelmingly agree that better communication between patients and doctors can ultimately reduce the likelihood of malpractice lawsuits. The survey also revealed that “conflict prevention tools” - mechanisms that allow patients to provide immediate feedback at the time of service - are most valuable because patients are more likely to provide accurate and meaningful information and physicians are more likely to act upon that information.
Eighty-nine percent of doctors surveyed agree that many of the malpractice lawsuits that are ultimately dropped or dismissed could be avoided altogether if patients had more of an opportunity to provide direct feedback on their experience. Meanwhile, 70 percent of Americans surveyed agree that avoiding possible miscommunications or communications breakdowns in the office setting would help prevent conflicts between patients and doctors that could result in legal action.
Commissioned by Capson Physicians Insurance Company, the survey examined attitudes of 200 physicians and 1,000 consumers toward physician-patient communications and assessed the value of physicians receiving patient feedback as a means of preventing malpractice lawsuits. The survey was conducted by national research firm American Viewpoint, Inc.
“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,” said Capson founder and CEO Maury Magids. “This survey provides clear direction on simple, common-sense ways to improve our nation’s medical liability system.”
Capson is the only physicians’ liability insurance company to provide its insured doctors with in-office conflict prevention technology. The new offering, called CapsonCare, features a patient satisfaction program incorporated into a physician’s practice that for the first time will allow patients to give confidential, honest feedback to physicians at the time of their visit via an iPad interface.
“CapsonCare gives me valuable feedback on what my patients are thinking,” said Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, MD. “It helps me focus on my relationship with them.”
Additional findings from the American Viewpoint survey include:
99 percent of doctors agree that patient feedback can provide valuable insights into potential conflicts.
94 percent of doctors agree that by providing the necessary feedback to let doctors know about concerned patients or areas that need improvement, patient satisfaction programs can decrease formal complaints and claims filings.
90 percent of doctors agree that by asking patients for immediate feedback at the time of service, patients are more likely to provide accurate and meaningful information and physicians are more likely to act upon that information.
67 percent of consumers say that they would find CapsonCare useful in improving their ability to communicate with their doctor
71 percent of consumers say that their doctor should provide a service like CapsonCare to patients
“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,” Magids concluded.