Medical Legal Chapter 5

The 4 C's of medical malpractice prevention

caring, communication, competence, charting

Caring (4 C's)

Two important benefits to show clients you care:
Improvement of their condition
decreased likelihood of lawsuit

Communication (4 C's)

Communitcate clearly and ask for confirmation that you have been understood
Offer to make appointments when appropriate

Competence (4 C's)

Know your professional are well
Maintain and update knowledge
Check each drug three times
consult with other health care practitioners appropriately

Charting (4 C's)

Documentation is proof
Document as though the patient will read his or her medical records


a defense that claims innocence of the charges or that one or more of the four D's of negligence are lacking

affirmative defense

defenses used by defendants in medical professional liability suits that allow the accused to present factual evidence that the patient's condition was caused by some factor other than the defendant's negligence

contributory negligence

An affirmative defense that alleges that the plaintiff, through lack of care, caused or contributed to his or her own injury

comparative negligence

an affirmative defense claimed by the defendant, alleging that the plaintiff contributed to the injury by a certain degree

assumption of risk

a legal defense that holds that the defendant is not guilty of a negligent act because the plaintiff knew of and accepted beforehand any risks involved

res judicata

the thing has been decided"; a claim cannot be retried between the same parties if it has already


A type of affirmative defense in which the person who comes to the aid of a victim in an emergency is not held liable under certain circumstances

technical defenses

Defenses used in a lawsuit that are based on legal technicalities

release of tortfeasor

A technical defense that prohibits a lawsuit against the person who caused an injury (the tortfeasor) if he or she was expressly released in the settlement of a suit

statue of limitations

that period of time established by state law during which a lawsuit may be filed

risk management

the taking of steps to minimize danger, hazard, and liability

quality improvement (QI) (or quality assurance)

A program of measures taken by health care providers and practitioners to uphold the quality of patient care

liability insurance

Contract coverage for potential damages incurred as a result of a negligent act.

claims-made insurance

A type of liability insurance that covers the insured only for those claims made (not for any injury occurring) while the policy is in force

occurence insurance

A type of liability insurance that covers the insured for any claims arising from an incident that occurred, or is alleged to have occurred, during the same time policy is in force, regardless of when the claim was made

tail coverage

An insurance coverage option available for health care practitioners: when a claim-made policy is discontinued, it extends coverage for malpractice claims alleged to have occurred during those dates that claim-made coverage was in effect

prior acts insurance coverage

A supplement to a claims-made insurance policy that can be purchased from a new carrier when health care practitioners change carriers

self-insurance coverage

An insurance coverage option whereby insured subscribers contribute to a trust fund to be used in paying potential damage award