More mediation needed, say healthcare risk managers


Some 92 percent of healthcare risk managers surveyed by Healthcare Risk Management Review would like to see more use of mediation when errors occur in healthcare facilities.

Two major reasons given for this view is that it would provide “a neutral arena for realistic discussions of the appropriate resolution” and cut down on litigation, which is expensive and takes too long. 

It also eliminates showboating by attorneys: “Jury trial can provide too much leeway to play on emotion. For most circumstances, mediation can provide a forum for experts to assess the situation,” said one respondent.

Another reported that in over thirty years of being in the business of healthcare risk management, they have found mediation to be a most useful tool: 

“Of all means utilized in resolving matters following an error, mediation brings us much closer in a final resolution ‘to the satisfaction of all parties’. That is not to say all mediations are successful, but when they work, they work very well. It is much less expensive than a trial and most folks come away with a sense of accomplishment in the face of adversity,” said the respondent. 

One respondent said that it would be a more efficient way to handle a potential claim/suit, but that it also depends on the state laws and whether or not it is considered an admission of liability.

Another pointed out that mediation is only used once a suit has been filed and costs incurred, but saw its potential beyond such situations.

“There are times where it would be appropriate to use it in non-suit situations to help facilitate discussions between professionals who speak one language and lay persons who speak Google,” they said.

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