Other participants in the alliance include Baystate Health, a three-hospital system based in Springfield; the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors; the Massachusetts Hospital Association; and Medically Induced Trauma Support Services.
The new approach, which is called the Roadmap to Reform, recommends using a “disclosure, apology, and offer” process as an alternative to the current tort system. The alliance's participating hospitals will participate in a pilot program using the new approach.
“[The current approach] discourages transparency, inhibits communication between caregivers and patients, burdens physicians with excessive premiums, leads to unwarranted lawsuits, and motivates physicians to practice defensive medicine,” Dr. Alan Woodward, chairman of the Massachusetts Medical Society's committee on professional liability, said in the news release. “We can make the approach to medical liability much better for both patients and physicians and stop driving unnecessary costs with a new model that promotes honesty and transparency.”
The alliance said the disclosure, apology and offer approach will resolve cases sooner and enhance reporting of medical errors.