defensive medicine


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de·fen·sive med·i·cine

diagnostic or therapeutic measures conducted primarily as a safeguard against possible subsequent malpractice liability.
A style of patient management consisting of objective measures taken to document clinical judgement to anticipate the possibility of a future lawsuit.

defensive medicine

A style of Pt management defined as those '…objective measures taken to document clinical judgement in case there is a lawsuit–costing ± $7 billion/yr US…'; DM is designed to minimize lawsuits and includes such 'devices' as
Defensive medicine
Informed consent A document to indicate Ps understanding of the intended outcome and potential risks of a procedure
Documentation Formal paperwork generated by a physician that justifies his reasoning for managing a Pt, which may be viewed as being'unreasonably excessive'
Medical workup Over-ordering of diagnostic tests to rule out 'zebras'–unusual diseases that are not seriously considered as diagnoses, which may rarely be seen in similar circumstances–a form of highly prevalent CYA–cover your ass mentality.
DM is virtually a standard of practice in the US; its financial impact is difficult to quantify, and is to ± ↑ the cost of US health care by 20-40% Note: The disadvantage of providing a list of potential complications–each of which may be extremely rare may overwhelm the Pt, causing him to forego a needed procedure, resulting in 'misinformed consent' This highly colloquial and vulgar abbreviation is commonly used at all levels of medical practice and training, and has appeared in at least one major medical journal; 'CYA', ie diagnostic 'overkill', has a mystical overtone, as the physician may be advised to 'CYA' to ward off the evil humors of litigation; DM is practiced by ± 84% of US physicians, in order to protect themselves from potential malpractice-related lawsuits AMN 25/5/92 p3 in the US, anything less than a perfect outcome is unacceptable to a consumer, for whom the threshold for litigation appears to ↓ as medical technology ↑, despite the known risks for certain procedures 

de·fen·sive med·i·cine

(dĕ-fen'siv med'i-sin)
Diagnostic or therapeutic measures conducted primarily as a safeguard against possible subsequent malpractice liability.

defensive medicine

Medical practice in which actions, or the avoidance of actions, are importantly determined by fear of litigation. The term is relative and ranges from a decision to perform a few more tests than might strictly be necessary to a form of practice in which the first concern of the doctor is to provide his or her patients with no possible grounds for legal action. Defensive medicine is damaging both to doctors and to patients and is only partly due to the actions of ambulance-chasing lawyers who actively encourage law suites against doctors. It is also a product of public perception of the actions of a minority of practitioners for whom financial reward is the primary motive.

de·fen·sive med·i·cine

(dĕ-fen'siv med'i-sin)
Diagnostic or therapeutic measures conducted primarily as a safeguard against possible subsequent malpractice liability.
References in periodicals archive ?
Eliminating defensive medicine is "an easy thing we can do to lower costs.
Focusing on the underlying cause of excessive healthcare system costs--poor patient care--through a redoubled emphasis on best practices, will be the approach that ultimately drives the costs associated with errors and defensive medicine out of the system.
Part 1V reviews studies surveying physicians on the prevalence of defensive medicine.
Tort Reform, Defensive Medicine, and Health Services Utilization
DEFENSIVE MEDICINE Malpractice may also affect the care patients receive, once they do see doctors, by increasing the use of "defensive medicine.
Assertion 3: Liability encourages defensive medicine.
The recent rising cost of medical malpractice insurance premiums in many states has reportedly influenced some physicians to move or close practices, reduce high-risk services, or alter their practices to preclude potential lawsuits (known as defensive medicine practices).
to perceive the stringency of malpractice systems in terms of malpractice premiums paid rather than tort reforms enacted," he also points out that physicians derive considerable income from so-called defensive medicine procedures.
National proponents of limiting victims' rights claim that doctors' fear of lawsuits is driving them to perform unnecessary tests and procedures -- so-called defensive medicine.
The survey found 71% of doctors felt that as a result of defensive medicine, their practice costs had increased.
I don't want to practice defensive medicine, ordering unnecessary tests out of fear of litigation.
This result gives rise to the issue of defensive medicine that will be discussed below.