Medical malpractice laws should not be only for patients, but also to protect doctors following evidence-based guidelines to treat their patients as well as to stay away from any medical liability.
But some doctors order unnecessary treatments and tests to protect themselves from lawsuits. That is why; reforms need to be made in medical malpractice laws to ensure that doctors focus more on treating their patients and follow evidence-based guidelines at wider level.
A lot of time goes between incorporating new research findings into common practice leading to limited impact of clinical guidelines. Hence, these reforms are important to ensure that evidence-based guidelines are routinely created and followed.
Generally, the role of medical malpractice laws in increased health care costs is underplayed. However, doctors commonly agree that these laws lead to unessential treatment and testing.
Medical malpractice law reforms can be achieved by imposing caps on liability, like limiting the amount of punitive damages. The strategy of providing a safe front to doctors who are following evidence-based guidelines can also be quite effective. This will also eliminate the possibility of doctors in certain areas adopting more intensive medical approach than others to avoid malpractice accusations.
For putting forward these reforms, large investments are required for researching the do’s and don’ts. The Health care reform act and the 2009 economic stimulus have provided for the additional financing needed for such research. Also, a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research is provided by the health care reform act.
This can be aided with use of better technology. Doctors’ computers can do more than keeping patients’ medical records. They can also give suggestions on the best approaches for your medical treatment. Doctors can pay for this technology by subsidies provided by the stimulus act.
Another effective way would be giving financial incentives to doctors for providing quality health care. Medicare payments should be made for quality rather than for service, according to the health care reform act.