2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/162843
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Patient Complaints Brought to Legal Counsel
Abstract:
Patient Complaints Brought to Legal Counsel
Conference Sponsor:Emergency Nurses Association
Conference Year:2004
Author:Yu, Wilma, RN, BSN, MS, CEN
Title:Staff Development Specialist
Contact Address:30 Boulder Brook Drive, Wilmington, DE, 19803, Sweden
Contact Telephone:(302) 750-7491
Purpose: Examining malpractice cases may aid in the development of recommendations that will improve
patient care and reduce the health professional?s risk for malpractice litigation. The purpose of this study is
to examine medical malpractice cases rejected from litigation to identify reasons individuals seek legal
counsel.
Design/Setting/Sample: This study is a retrospective review of attorney client records to determine
patient complaints against health care providers. Only cases rejected for litigation are examined. This
group represents the majority of complainants and had not been previously studied. Client records are
from a medical malpractice attorney group in Delaware. Files were released to the investigator with
patient identifying data removed.
Methodology: The study reviewed the 288 cases filed with the practice between 1994 and 1998. Of
these, 192 files contained sufficient data for analysis with 392 complaints identified by the investigator
from patient or family descriptions of the perceived incidents as related to legal counsel.
Results: The primary factors identified for dissatisfaction were communication problems (n = 95) including
lack of or conflicting information, timely notification, not listening, not answering questions, not being
taken seriously, and rudeness. Secondary, were treatment issues (n = 89) involving adverse outcomes and
refusal by ED to admit, (3) emotional issues (n = 75) including grief reactions, anger, threats to self image
and major emotional crisis unrelated to illness or injury, (4) perceived malpractice or negligence (n = 74)
with misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, falls, medication errors, physician notification promptness, inattention
and neglect and (5) patient issues due to financial concerns.
Conclusions: The subjects in this study instituted legal malpractice action against their health care
providers. Communication and sensitivity issues were consistently identified from the legal records. Four
areas were identified that health care providers could consider improving in order to reduce their risk of
litigation: 1) Develop excellent communication skills; 2) become aware of provider behaviors that lead to
dissatisfaction, such as not listening, not acknowledging patient concerns, rudeness, failing to provide adequate
information; 3) recognize emotional issues in patients and families that heighten their assessment of
care; and 4) develop and implement strategies for acute and ongoing emotional support for patients and
families experiencing adverse events or outcomes. Understanding the issues, training in effective communication,
and developing support skills and resources may help to improve patient and family care and
reduce exposure to litigation. Future research would involve larger study groups in other geographic locations.
Due to patient and staff stressors innately present in the ED, dissatisfaction will occur. The data
would be useful in developing a program for ED staff to become more proficient in communication skills
with heightened awareness of dissatisfaction issues. [Poster Presentation]
Repository Posting Date:
27-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
17-Oct-2011
Sponsors:
Emergency Nurses Association

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titlePatient Complaints Brought to Legal Counselen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/162843-
dc.description.abstract<table><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-title">Patient Complaints Brought to Legal Counsel</td></tr><tr class="item-sponsor"><td class="label">Conference Sponsor:</td><td class="value">Emergency Nurses Association</td></tr><tr class="item-year"><td class="label">Conference Year:</td><td class="value">2004</td></tr><tr class="item-author"><td class="label">Author:</td><td class="value">Yu, Wilma, RN, BSN, MS, CEN</td></tr><tr class="item-author-title"><td class="label">Title:</td><td class="value">Staff Development Specialist</td></tr><tr class="item-address"><td class="label">Contact Address:</td><td class="value">30 Boulder Brook Drive, Wilmington, DE, 19803, Sweden</td></tr><tr class="item-phone"><td class="label">Contact Telephone:</td><td class="value">(302) 750-7491</td></tr><tr class="item-email"><td class="label">Email:</td><td class="value">Yu39@comcast.net</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-abstract">Purpose: Examining malpractice cases may aid in the development of recommendations that will improve<br/>patient care and reduce the health professional?s risk for malpractice litigation. The purpose of this study is<br/>to examine medical malpractice cases rejected from litigation to identify reasons individuals seek legal<br/>counsel.<br/>Design/Setting/Sample: This study is a retrospective review of attorney client records to determine<br/>patient complaints against health care providers. Only cases rejected for litigation are examined. This<br/>group represents the majority of complainants and had not been previously studied. Client records are<br/>from a medical malpractice attorney group in Delaware. Files were released to the investigator with<br/>patient identifying data removed.<br/>Methodology: The study reviewed the 288 cases filed with the practice between 1994 and 1998. Of<br/>these, 192 files contained sufficient data for analysis with 392 complaints identified by the investigator<br/>from patient or family descriptions of the perceived incidents as related to legal counsel.<br/>Results: The primary factors identified for dissatisfaction were communication problems (n = 95) including<br/>lack of or conflicting information, timely notification, not listening, not answering questions, not being<br/>taken seriously, and rudeness. Secondary, were treatment issues (n = 89) involving adverse outcomes and<br/>refusal by ED to admit, (3) emotional issues (n = 75) including grief reactions, anger, threats to self image<br/>and major emotional crisis unrelated to illness or injury, (4) perceived malpractice or negligence (n = 74)<br/>with misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, falls, medication errors, physician notification promptness, inattention<br/>and neglect and (5) patient issues due to financial concerns.<br/>Conclusions: The subjects in this study instituted legal malpractice action against their health care<br/>providers. Communication and sensitivity issues were consistently identified from the legal records. Four<br/>areas were identified that health care providers could consider improving in order to reduce their risk of<br/>litigation: 1) Develop excellent communication skills; 2) become aware of provider behaviors that lead to<br/>dissatisfaction, such as not listening, not acknowledging patient concerns, rudeness, failing to provide adequate<br/>information; 3) recognize emotional issues in patients and families that heighten their assessment of<br/>care; and 4) develop and implement strategies for acute and ongoing emotional support for patients and<br/>families experiencing adverse events or outcomes. Understanding the issues, training in effective communication,<br/>and developing support skills and resources may help to improve patient and family care and<br/>reduce exposure to litigation. Future research would involve larger study groups in other geographic locations.<br/>Due to patient and staff stressors innately present in the ED, dissatisfaction will occur. The data<br/>would be useful in developing a program for ED staff to become more proficient in communication skills<br/>with heightened awareness of dissatisfaction issues. [Poster Presentation]</td></tr></table>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-27T10:35:06Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-17en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-27T10:35:06Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipEmergency Nurses Associationen_GB
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