by Laura Hale Brockway, ELS
Article originally posted by Texas Medical Liability Trust
A 67-year-old man was admitted to the hospital at 2:40 p.m. under the care of an internal medicine physician. The patient had a history of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting for several days. The internal medicine physician wrote admission orders with a diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis. He ordered a gastroenterology consult and a CT scan of the abdomen to rule out kidney stones. He also ordered a full liquid diet for the patient. The physician had not seen or evaluated the patient when these admission orders were written.
Human nature tends to dictate “follow the path of least resistance.” As physicians, we are no different, at least in this regard. During 2002, Arkansas physicians had to endure considerable angst and uncertainty when St Paul pulled out of the medical malpractice insurance market. At that time, most states that did not already have a medical malpractice company domiciled in their own state, established one-usually following the single state mutual model. This was accomplished with the help of their respective Medical Societies. Arkansas, for whatever reason, chose not to establish our own in-state company. We chose to go to out of state companies, and at the time I’m sure that seemed the most logical decision, especially considering what limited options were available at the time. The decision to go with an out of state company has provided Arkansas doctors with excellent malpractice coverage from an excellent company, however, there have been several aspects of this decision that now deserve examination.
Personally, I would like to know someone in the company that is entrusted to provide my malpractice coverage.