Mass. Hospitals to Patients: New Plan — We're Sorry, Please Don't Sue

Mass. Hospitals to Patients: New Plan — We’re Sorry, Please Don’t Sue. Seven different Massachusetts hospitals are embarking on a new plan to both curtail their own legal expenses, and make safety and compensation (when warranted) a little easier on patients. The plan: ‘fess up to mistakes, say they’re sorry, and settle fast. As the Globe reports, it’s a model that’s based on a process already in place in Michigan, and that has actually not resulted, so far, in increases in court cases — although total settlements have broken into the millions.

“This is a fundamental transformation of the system,’’ said Dr. Alan Woodward, a retired emergency medicine physician who helped lead the coalition for the Massachusetts Medical Society, a large doctors’ organization. “The whole system has created secrecy and denial. We are trying to turn things around.’’

One question though: should we be worried that it’s considered fairly radical for an institution to say “whoops, we’re sorry?” [Boston Globe]