Co-authors: Marissa K. Linden, JD and Ruth E. Flynn, JD
Academic medical centers—along with private health care practices—require a comprehensive strategy to deal with potential adverse medical outcomes, one that is tailored to meet their unique needs and cultures. Some large institutions rely on comprehensive legal advice to develop and implement these strategies, but small practices could also benefit from the lessons learned from academia and the law firms that represent them—and should consider the principles detailed in this article.
University of Minnesota Physicians (M Physicians) could provide a roadmap. No longer content with the status quo, the academic physician practice—which, in addition to providing direct patient care, trains medical students, residents, fellows, and graduate students, and pursues new cures and treatments—is embracing a cultural shift in the way it identifies and handles adverse medical events through its communication and resolution program. Their Principled Response Model to Adverse Clinical Outcomes is built on a foundation of transparent communication and proactive response to these events, an approach that seeks to benefit all parties: patients, physicians, and medical staff.