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 ?
Six studies evaluated the impact of caps on punitive damages on health care utilization which may be indicative of defensive medicine. (22,25,26,28,38,47) Li et al (38) found that caps on punitive damages were associated with a significant reduction in radiography orders by specialist physicians (6.1 percent).
He has previously spoken passionately about tort reforms such as defensive medicine, damage caps, health tribunals, and practice guidelines.
On the other hand, a report using simulated clinical scenarios concluded that the extent of defensive medicine was at most 8%, and another found no correlation between individual malpractice claims experience and resource use, physician concern about malpractice, tolerance for uncertainty, or perception of risk.
Malpractice liability and defensive medicine: A national survey of neurosurgeons.
(36) The Massachusetts Medical Society ("MMS") estimates that the cost of defensive medicine in Massachusetts alone was approximately $1.4 million in 2011.
He said the CARe model was "driven by a growing frustration and a recognition that the current system was driving costs, particularly defensive medicine.
Kitzhaber's said the recommendations could improve patient safety by helping physicians learn from errors, provide more effective compensation for injured people and reduce costs that arise from litigation and defensive medicine.
To the extent this bill could streamline the process for resolving medical injury claims, it would reduce the costs of litigation and help alleviate the burden of malpractice insurance and defensive medicine on the health care system.
In September 2010, researchers asked 2,000 orthopedic surgeons to complete a Web-based survey on defensive medicine. The orthopedic surgeons were chosen randomly from the AAOS database.
They were surprised by the findings in the study, particularly in an era when many suggest that doctors over-treat patients and do too much in the name of practicing defensive medicine. But this study suggests that perhaps doctors aren't doing enough for patients with bladder cancer.
He identifies problems in geriatric care, the standardization of medicine, medical training, malpractice and defensive medicine, compensation, and the need for house calls.