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Good communication is key to reducing medical malpractice

Medical malpractice is a phrase that strikes fear into doctors and patients alike. For doctors, it can mean fighting a legal battle and potentially losing their career. For patients, it signifies injuries and harm that never should have come to them.

Medical providers are likely to face a medical malpractice claim at some point during their career. Claims are filed against approximately 42 percent of physicians during their time as physicians. The impact of the claim can leave a lasting impression, but there are things that providers should be doing to help their patients avoid injury and have a better experience.

What should medical providers do to be better at their jobs?

One of the best ways to avoid medical malpractice is by measuring how happy patients are with your services. Medical providers that take the time to get to know their patients and what they're happy or not happy with can make changes and reduce the likelihood of errors. For example, if a patient reports that the nurse had the wrong file or that they seemed confused about what they were being told by the patient, then a medical provider can start working to improve communication and record keeping.

Studies have shown that patient surveys are a great way to see how they feel about the services at a practice. As a patient, you should look at survey results and reviews. People don't only leave reviews when they're unhappy with their treatment, but those who do can enlighten others to the problems at a medical practice.

Of all the things medical providers and patients can do to reduce the risk of malpractice, improving communication is the most important. Listening to a patient gives medical providers good insight. Listening to your doctor helps you identify exactly what your treatment should entail, so you can ask for changes or point out when something doesn't seem right.

Communication breakdowns are most common after patients leave a medical office, so, as a patient, it's a good idea to get paperwork before you leave and to reach out regularly if you have questions about your care. Doing these things can help you prevent injury to yourself and help medical providers avoid malpractice claims from issues in the office that they're not aware of. Both parties can help the medical field become more successful and reduce the risk of harm coming to patients under a provider's care.

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