Florida-based professional liability insurer First Professionals Insurance Company has announced a strategic alliance with Rightfield Solutions LLC.
First Professionals covers 7,400 multi-specialty physicians and 2,800 dentists in solo and group practices around the state. Rightfield Solutions is the developer of Emmi, Expectation Management and Medical Information, a web-based risk management and patient satisfaction tool that combines clinical and legal best practices. Under terms of the agreement, First Professionals’ policyholders will be able to obtain Emmi at a significant discount.
“We believe our agreement with Rightfield Solutions comes at a critical time for the physicians and dentists of Florida,” said Bob White, president of First Professionals. “Patients that understand their medical procedures are much more likely to have positive outcomes and build lasting relationships with their physicians and therefore are less likely to sue. Emmi will give patients access to a simple-to-use tool that will increase understanding of their medical procedures, and that knowledge may reduce the frequency of malpractice claims.”
Emmi can reportedly help First Professionals policyholders better address the issue of informed consent, a process designed to ensure that patients are fully informed about risks and benefits of surgical and medical procedures. Informed consent is a critical component of the communication process between physicians and patients. However, it’s estimated that 40 to 60 percent of all malpractice cases today reportedly involve improper informed consent, which can lead to poor outcomes, dissatisfied patients and potentially greater risk of lawsuits.
“When the informed consent process fails, it’s typically because time wasn’t taken to ensure the patient fully understood what they were reading and signing,” said Jordan Dolin, CEO of Rightfield Solutions. “Emmi is primarily a patient education and risk management tool. And while we do not replace the informed consent procedure, we can help physicians and dentists better support the process.”
There are currently Emmi programs covering a wide range of surgical and medical procedures including obstetrics/gynecology, general surgery, bariatric surgery, plastic/cosmetic surgery, cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, and LASIK surgery. There are also oral surgery Emmi programs for dental implants and molar extractions. Many programs are available in Spanish and can be readily translated to other languages as required.
“Of all the products and strategies we examined, by far the simplest and most complete was the Emmi program’s web-based informed consent program. Establishing realistic expectations often necessitates patient education, a powerful risk management measure. A fully informed patient is far less likely to initiate litigation should a risk or complication of treatment be encountered,” added Cliff Rapp, vice president of Risk Management at First Professionals.
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