ANN ARBOR, Mich.—At the University of Michigan Health System, the response to medical errors, near-misses, unexpected clinical problems and unintended outcomes is a model for the nation that other hospitals can and should copy, according to a new paper in the healthcare journal the Milbank Quarterly.
The “Michigan Model" for handling these situations, and preventing them from happening again, has not only helped patients and medical staff alike―it has also helped UMHS go against the grain of the costly, combative “deny and defend" medical malpractice culture.
In a paper in December issue of the Milbank Quarterly, and in a presentation today at a meeting of the U-M Board of Regents, the UMHS approach is once again in the spotlight for its potential to be emulated by hospitals across the country.
The new paper, authored mainly by Massachusetts-based researchers, lays out the fundamentals of the model for other hospitals to emulate. The authors, from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Medical Society, report that key stakeholders across the medical and legal community see the Michigan approach as a feasible and promising approach for their state.
The presentation to the U-M Regents, given by UMHS chief medical officer Darrell A. Campbell, Jr, MD. and executive director of clinical safety Rick Boothman, JD, lays out further the details and results of the UMHS approach. They also featured video clips from actual patients and patient family members, who have told their unvarnished stories for a video aimed at every member of the UMHS care team.
“By handling unanticipated and unintended incidents, and patient injuries, honestly and proactively, we’ve virtually eliminated groundless legal claims, allowing us to focus on issues that demand attention with clear vision and no more excuses," said Boothman. “We fundamentally focus on putting patients and safety first, and we believe other hospitals can do the same."