Patient expectations: How do they matter?

By S. Jay Jayasankar, MD

Unrealistic expectations are preventable triggers for claims

A patient’s disappointment with an unexpected turn of events or outcome is a key driver for medical liability claims, even though only a small fraction of claims involve a compensable injury or are decided in the plaintiff’s favor. Integral to quality care and among the risk prevention efforts under our control is appropriate patient education to ensure that patients have realistic expectations about the risks, rehabilitation, and outcome of an orthopaedic procedure.

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