Malpractice = Malprocess

Bad things sometimes happen during health care, things like: not being better; an adverse reaction like a side-effect of a medicine; being worse than before, such as being paralyzed after spine surgery; or worst, death. When we are dissatisfied, we may activate the medical malpractice (abbreviated med-mal) system.

What do we expect from med-mal? The immediate goal often seems to be getting even with the doctor, the nurse, or the hospital that harmed us. But vengeance is not what we really want or need.

The system should provide the person harmed during medical care with two things: help when injured, and continuously better health care. The first translates to both medical and financial assistance. “Better health care” means two things: error reduction, and better outcomes tomorrow than are possible today.

Does med-mal deliver the things we want? If a patient does not win the med-mal lawsuit, does s/he get compensation? Does the current system encourage health care people to try to do better tomorrow than they can do today? If you agree that these are rhetorical questions, what we need to do is clear.

What we have now is really a bad (mal) process.
We need to scrap it and create a new (good) process.

System MD

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34 comments ↓

#1 We’re Drowning And Your Coming With Us — Medical Malprocess on 10.25.09 at 4:09 am

[...] Reform Act – Congress does not follow the rules that it created. Look at the rules governing medical malpractice and ask if this system helps or even protects [...]

#2 WHO Is Practicing Medicine? — Medical Malprocess on 10.26.09 at 7:24 pm

[...] several regulatory agencies. It makes it difficult to share medical information. Coupled with the medical malpractice litigation statutes interpreted by each Hospital Counsel, wide dissemination of medical information, [...]

#3 Accept No Substitutes – A Pre-election Interlude — Medical Malprocess on 10.29.09 at 7:51 pm

[...] if you ignore interrelated problems such as the measuring the wrong outcomes; the fiasco we call medical malpractice; the anti-learning culture in healthcare; built-in inefficiencies, and the bloated, unnecessary and [...]

#4 Providers–Raise your eyes! (Part I of IV) on 04.04.11 at 10:02 pm

[...] While more and more diseases and conditions can be treated, the error rate also escalates. There is at least one drug error every day for every hospitalized patient in the U.S. The medical malpractice system that is expected to compensate patients with bad outcomes and to improve quality does neither. Worse, it has converted providers from fiduciaries into perps. [...]

#5 How Did My Calling Turn into a Job?! (Part III of IV) on 04.16.11 at 3:24 pm

[...] medical malpractice system is intended to deal with adverse health care outcomes and errors. Based on the tort (civil wrong) [...]

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