Journal of Patient Safety Study Shows I-PASS Can Significantly Decrease Likelihood and Cost of Malpractice Claims
Communication failure is a key factor behind many medical malpractice claims, according to new research. The study, which looks at 498 medical malpractice claims, found that communication failure was identified in almost half of the claims, with 40% involving a handoff of care. More than three-quarters of those instances were preventable with a handoff tool. Claims involving communication failures were also more expensive, with a cumulative total of $58 million paid out, compared with $39.1 million for cases that did not involve communication issues. The researchers note the findings highlight the importance of using communication tools and strategies to reduce the risk of patient injury and medical malpractice claims. "Nearly half of the medical malpractice cases we reviewed involved a breakdown in communication at some point during the caregiving process," said Chris Landrigan, MD, co-founder of the I-PASS Patient Safety Institute and Chief of General Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital. "The I-PASS handoff communication tools are designed to improve the many aspects of handoff communication that occurs between clinical teams, their patients, and their family members so that providers are empowered to deliver the best care possible." The medical malpractice claims studied were randomly selected from Candello, CRICO's national medical malpractice collaborative. "By streamlining communication among clinicians, critical errors that impact patient safety and increase the likelihood of malpractice can be significantly reduced and prevented," said Penny Greenberg, RN, MS, and Senior Program Director for Patient Safety Services for Candello. The new study is published in the Journal of Patient Safety.
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