Stanford Adverse Event Initiative Saves $3.2M in Annual Liability Costs
Stanford University's clinics and hospitals have reduced annual liability premiums by $3.2 million since it implemented a program to disclose and investigate adverse event reports, according to a report published by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, American Medical News reports.
TheÂ program also facilitates apologizing to and compensating patients for adverse events when deemed appropriate.Â
The initiative has lowered the frequency of medical liability claims by 36% compared with the rate from two years before the program began.
The Stanford University Medical Indemnity & Trust Insurance -- which covers 1,800 faculty physicians at the university's School of Medicine, the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the Stanford Hospital & Clinics -- established the program in 2007.
How the Program Works
The program calls for the insurer to investigate adverse events that physicians or other staff report within 90 days of the occurrence, unless legal action has been taken.
Within a week, investigators try to assess whether the event could have been prevented.
If the event could have been avoided, the patient's family is notified and offered an apology, and compensation is discussed.
Jeffrey Driver, chief risk officer at the insurance company, said that physicians practicing at Stanford and covered by another liability insurer generally agree to the compensation offer.
According to the report, hospitals, physician practices and other health care organizations should have a plan in place to address adverse events.
Jim Conway -- a co-author of the report and a senior fellow at the institute -- said some hospitals and health care organizations are reluctant to share their adverse event experiences publicly. However, there is a growing movement toward a more transparent and patient-centered method of responding to adverse events, he said (O'Reilly, American Medical News, 10/31).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.