"As I contemplated what to write, I thought about what makes doctors really sick when it comes to medical liability. What gets docs upset is not so much the fear of lawsuits, but, as one person at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons meeting put it to me, having political goal posts moved back and forth.
Wisconsin is a prime example of this. Lawsuit caps were in place for 10 years only to recently be wiped off the books. It’s the same in many other states, whether its politicians promising to pass caps or insurance companies saying rates won’t be lowered until caps are held as constitutional. Docs are sick and tired of the political games.
What if you could lower lawsuits and litigation costs without any politics? Does it sound too good to be true? It’s not…the answer is called Sorry Works!
I lost my oldest brother to medical errors and I have provided PR for both sides in the medical malpractice battle: the tort reformers and the trial bar. I have personally and professionally experienced the medical malpractice battle from every angle possible, and I believe Sorry Works! is a true middle ground solution that addresses the root causes of the problem—anger and cover-ups—better than any other solution currently being offered."
The best part of Sorry Works! is that is works without having to get politicians and the courts involved. Sorry Works! is a full-disclosure program that’s having amazing results reducing lawsuits and litigation costs for hospitals and insurance companies.
The University of Michigan hospital system reports they have cut their lawsuits in half – back to pre-1990 levels – and have reduced litigation expenses by two thirds. They say they have “excited actuaries.” Many other hospitals and insurance companies including Kaiser hospitals, Catholic Healthcare West hospitals, Children’s Hospital of Minnesota, VA hospitals, and Copic Insurance are reporting equally positive results.
Sorry Works! works because it stops anger. Anger – not greed – is what drives med-mal lawsuits. Patients and families get angry after a bad outcome when doctors run away and hide in the name of “risk management.” Broken communication leads to patients calling trial lawyers and bringing lawsuits.
After a bad outcome or an adverse event, medical professionals should conduct a root-cause analysis to see if an error or system break down occurred. If an error occurred, the medical staff should apologize quickly to the patient, the family and their legal counsel. This apology should include an admission of fault, an explanation how the process will be fixed so it doesn’t happen again, and an offer of upfront compensation (determined by an actuary). This forthright approach removes anger and stops most lawsuits. But it also provides a great defense in rare cases when a lawsuit results.
If, however, there was no error–it was simply a bad outcome–the medical staff still meets with the patient, his/her family and their attorney to explain what exactly happened. This dramatically reduces the filing of non-meritorious lawsuits.
Some will say they need apology immunity laws to implement Sorry Works! These laws are fine, but all the hospitals that have implemented Sorry Works! have done so without immunity laws. Medical professionals learn with Sorry Works! that apologies and offers of upfront compensation are a great defense in court—juries don’t get angry with doctors that tried to do right after an error.
Sorry Works! can be implemented without any legislation or court ruling. And healthcare professionals can adopt Sorry Works! today and immediately begin experiencing the benefits now. For more information, visit our website, www.sorryworks.net. Thanks!