Prescription for the Angry Patient: Communication

The degree of success, whether a doctor or a hospital (or any business), isn’t always measured by good outcomes. It is measured by what happens after a mistake. We all make mistakes because we’re human. It’s unavoidable. What is in our control, howev…


A simple apology goes a long way. When apologizing for a medical mistake, the “sorry” isn’t so simple, but explaining the mistake to the patient and family does help prevent litigation. Why do patient’s sue?

1. A desire to prevent a similar (bad) incident from happening again
2. A need for an explanation as to how and why an injury happened
3. A desire for financial compensation to make up for actual losses, pain, and suffering or to provide future care for the injured patient
4. A desire to hold doctors accountable for their actions”

Communication is key!


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