Defensive Medicine and Clinical Risk Management

  • Jonathan Burdon


Defensive medicine has been practiced for decades in one form or another. It has only become the subject of professional and community scrutiny over the past two decades as it has become more widespread. As a result, concerns regarding its effect on the quality and cost of healthcare have been raised. Several definitions have been published all of which relate to the deviation from accepted medical practice in an endeavor, deliberate or otherwise, to minimize the chance of a medical malpractice claim. These deviations include ordering unnecessary special investigations (assurance behavior) or distancing oneself from or avoiding some clinical situations (avoidance behavior). Defensive medicine is inextricably interwoven with the subject of clinical risk management. Litigation risk can be significantly reduced by good communication not only with the patient and family but also with other healthcare practitioners, keeping good clinical notes, careful follow-up, and showing that you care.


Risk Management Medical Malpractice Malpractice Claim Defensive Medicine Malpractice Suit 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Avant Mutual Group LtdEast MelbourneAustralia

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