Hospitals Launch Apology, Settlement Initiative for Patients Harmed by Errors
April 25, 2012 | Risk Management News
Seven Massachusetts hospitals have formed a coalition to launch an initiative, Road Map to Reform, which will attempt to reduce malpractice litigation that drives up healthcare costs by offering patients harmed by medical errors a prompt apology and financial settlements, states an April 18, 2012, Boston Globe article. Developed with a $300,000 federal grant and drawn heavily from a plan adopted by the University of Michigan Health System 10 years ago, the initiative calls on doctors and nurses to fully disclose mistakes to patients and apologize. Three large insurers and a medical group have donated about $1 million to underwrite the initial work at the seven test hospitals, and the coalition hopes to implement the improvements statewide over the next several years. When a suspected error is reported, the hospital will conduct a root-cause analysis to determine if caregivers or hospital policy or systems were at fault.