Here is a really interesting article in the American Medical News about spotting which patients are likely to sue. Below are some highlights I thought were interesting:
- “Then there’s going to be a subset of individuals who are more likely to sue than others. There are individuals who walk in and are ready to be unhappy. That’s a reality, but that’s part of the human condition.”
- People who have higher social statuses, live in urban areas and have higher education also are more likely to file claims.
- Another contributing factor is whether the patient personally knows a doctor or attorney.
- “Now more than ever before, patients are well-informed, and [there] is more shared decision-making” among doctors and patients, he said. “But the patient who is very demanding about what they want and expect you to give them, ‘or else,’ puts you on guard.”
- Other legally risky behaviors include patients who ask for a diagnosis beyond a physician’s expertise, who complain about being “mistreated” by other doctors or who have sued past physicians.
How many of you doctors out there can think of a dozen or more patients, in your head, that match those criteria above? That’s my gift to you. Sleep well tonight.