While it is impossible to guarantee an avoidance of malpractice suits, Stanford Hospital has developed a program that has significantly reduced its malpractice suits.
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Stanford’s program is called Pearl (Process for Early Assessment, Resolution and Learning).
Pearl is a model that encourages more communication and resolutions with patients to avoid litigation when things go wrong.
A resolution under Pearl can include an apology, an explanation, a waiver of the medical bill and a monetary settlement for pain a suffering.
Does this method of settlement reduce costs?
It has at Stanford.
From 2009 – 2014, the frequency of lawsuits at Stanford was 50% less and indemnity costs in paid cases were 40% lower than from 2003 to 2008.
Similar programs are being developed and implemented at other hospitals nation-wide. They require more transparency about risk and complications or problems.
In the past, hospitals were hesitant to make financial offers and physicians were reluctant to admit errors for fear of their own liability.
After many hospitals have encountered backlash about not being transparent, they are more receptive to programs like Pearl.
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