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Reducing Liability Risk through Informed Consent

Reducing Liability Risk through Informed Consent

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Gary Wortz, MD
A new report by the American Medical Association reveals why medical liability claims are so devastating and costly for America’s doctors: just over 42% of all physicians and an astonishing 57% of physicians in surgical subspecialties have been sued. Nearly 61% of physicians aged 55 or older have faced the ordeal of a lawsuit. But what if the specter of litigation could be reduced through better, more documented patient communication? One Kentucky ophthalmologist believes patient frustration often is rooted in an expectation of clinical results that does not match actual outcomes. To alleviate the disparity, he uses a standardized informed consent process to ensure patients thoroughly understand the procedure and possible outcomes. This article will explain in detail his three-pronged approach, focused on procedure-specific counseling, education, and documentation.