Medical Error Disclosure, Mediation Skills, and Malpractice Litigation: A Demonstration Project in Pennsylvania

  • March 02, 2005
  • By Carol Liebman and Chris Stern Hyman
This report outlines procedures that could ease the state's malpractice insurance crisis while improving patient safety and benefiting relatives, doctors and hospitals.

The report notes that ineffective communication is often a primary reason patients and families sue. Citing extensive research, the report recommends open, meaningful communication by health professionals about medical errors and mediation to avoid costly lawsuits.

The results of the research come as Pennsylvania hospitals struggle to comply with a precedent-setting 2002 law requiring them to explain to patients or their relatives the circumstances and repercussions behind serious health complications or deaths caused by medical errors.