The Communication-and-Resolution Program, or CRP, is a novel program promoted by a Collaborative associated with the University of Washington. The CRP initiative is gaining headway in the medical community. Many hospitals and other medical offices use it, and many others are supportive or, at least, intrigued.
The CRP is a new way for the medical community to handle its own errors
When it comes to handling claims of medical negligence, the CRP flies in the face of the conventional wisdom within the medical community.
Historically, doctors and hospitals have been encouraged to defend their actions after an unfavorable outcome for a patient, even if there is significant evidence of medical malpractice. On a practical level, this means that patients and their families would be very unlikely to get so much as an apology.
The CRP, on the other hand, emphasizes that doctors should promptly explain why a bad outcome happened, even if that means having to admit a mistake. It encourages apologies for medical errors.
The CRP also calls for hospitals promptly to offer to pay reasonable compensation to patients when that is warranted. Refreshingly, doctors and hospitals following the CRP are supposed to remind families that they always have the option to seek the services of their own medical malpractice attorney.
Medical professionals who use CRP get sued less frequently
According to a recent study, the CRP has been successful at reducing the number of lawsuits against medical professionals who use it.
The study suggests that CRP reduces lawsuits by up to 50%. It is also helpful in allowing the medical profession to think through shortfalls and thereby help prevent them from recurring.
While the CRP may well turn out to be a positive development, it is important for patients to remember that even among well-meaning people, legal disputes about the value of malpractice claim can and do arise. It is important for injured patients to be well represented in these disputes.