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    Your most effective protection against a malpractice suit

    New Orleans—The most effective protection against the threat of malpractice litigation is also the least expensive.

    "Show empathy, particularly in patients you are going to operate on. Take the extra time to explain the surgery and exactly what is going to be done. This will improve the doctor-patient communication and give the patient a better understanding of the procedure. Additionally, when you explain the procedure, you should use procedure-specific consents," Christopher L. Coogan, MD, professor of urology at the Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, told Urology Times.

    READ: Unnecessary kidney surgery proves costly

    Informing patients of a procedure and the likelihood of its varied outcomes, as well as documenting the conversation, decreases both rate of suits as well as the likelihood of their succeeding, said Dr. Coogan, who chaired a 3-hour course on malpractice at the AUA annual meeting in New Orleans.

    "The average urologist is sued about every 9 years. The most common reason, occurring in about a third of the cases, is improper performance of a procedure. The second most common reason, occurring in about 15% of cases, is an error in diagnosis. Those issues are one and two," Dr. Coogan said.

    "Communication is the key to preventing a lawsuit," he added.

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    Check out these other AUA 2015 articles:

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    Paradigm change in stricture Tx favors urethroplasty

    Post-RP outcomes tool may support quality initiatives

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