"Studies show that the most important factor in people's decisions to file lawsuits is not negligence, but ineffective communication between patients and providers." Clinton & Obama, NEJM 2006
"Malpractice suits often result when an unexpected adverse outcome is met with lack of empathy from physicians and a perceived or actual withholding of essential information." Vincent C, The Lancet 1993
The above quotes exemplify what is wrong with the current medical liability system, in which litigation is the main pathway for harmed patients to seek compensation. For patients, the current system breeds distrust of our healthcare system and blocks efforts to improve patient safety due to fear and secrecy that often surround bad outcomes. For physicians, it results in unaffordable premiums, and for all clinicians and staff a loss of trust in the justice system. It also causes them to view patients as potential litigants, and encourages the practice of defensive medicine. For the health care system as a whole, the current system stalls patient safety efforts, drives up the overall cost of health care, and compromises access to care when liabilty concerns lead physicians to avoid high risk patients.
Communication, Apology, and Resolution (CARe) is an alternative process designed to make tort the last resort. Built upon a culture of safety that relies on solid root cause analysis, it includes full disclosure and explanation, apology when appropriate, and timely and fair injury compensation. Visit our About section for background on the CARe approach in Massachusetts and on MACRMI.