In our last post, we spoke a bit about the challenges health care providers face nowadays in reducing the occurrence of medical errors, and some of the reasons improvement in this area has not been greater. In this context, we began looking at the “Michigan Model,” which has been instrumental in helping the University of Michigan Health System to reduce costs associated with medical malpractice litigation.

While the Michigan Model has been successful in progressively reducing the costs associated with medical malpractice complaints, it isn’t clear whether the model has actually reduced the occurrence of medical errors. Another problem is that not every health care facility has the same situation as UMHS. In any case, patients at many health care facilities across the country to not have access to the kind of dispute resolution available through that system. What, then, is an ordinary patient to do when he or she is seriously harmed by a negligent physician?

Ideally, a patient is able to get as much information about the medical error as possible from the treating physician or physicians, and from the facility. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t always happen on their own initiative, and it takes getting a lawyer involved to make any progress.

Patients who believe they may have been subjected to serious medical negligence and who can’t seem to get straight answers from their doctor, other caregivers or the facility should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. It isn’t always the case that pursuing medical malpractice litigation is going to be the right answer. It depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of the injury, the financial losses to the patient, and limitations on non-economic damages. Sorting out these and other factors requires the assistance of an experienced attorney who knows how to advocate for a patient’s rights.

Sources:

Philly.com, “Medical errors remain all too common—and deadly,” Maryanne McGuckin, Dec. 29, 2015.

University of Michigan Health System, “The Michigan Model: Medical Malpractice and Patient Safety at UMHS,” Accessed Dec. 30, 2015.