More Hippocrates, Less Hypocrisy: Early Offers as a Means of Implementing the Institute of Medicine's Recommendations on Malpractice Law
To remove the fear of personal liability from individual health care workers and eliminate the incentive to hide errors rather than report them, the IOM acknowledges that tort reform of some sort is also needed. Since the IOM calls for shifting attention away from the faults of individual care providers to the defects of the system itself, the current tort system's "blame culture" is itself blamed by the IOM for providing an impediment to improving the safety of patients by deterring physicians from reporting their own errors in the first place. However, the IOM's To Err is Human does not offer an extensive account of just what tort reform scheme should be pursued. In what follows, the Early Offers plan, created by the first-named author, is urged as particularly well-suited to address the problem of medical errors dealt with in To Err is Human. 'Early Offers' is not only designed to promote the reporting of medical errors by reducing the level of fear and pain associated with current medical malpractice law, but at the same time to allow victims of medical error to receive compensation earlier and easier. In so doing, Early Offers promotes a better medical and legal culture by rendering the health care and medical malpractice systems more Hippocratic - and less hypocritical.
Jeffrey O'Connell & Patrick B. Bryan, More Hippocrates, Less Hypocrisy: Early Offers as a Means of Implementing the Institute of Medicine's Recommendations on Malpractice Law, 15 J.L. & Health 23 (2000-2001)