Early Intervention After Harm Events: A Better Way Forward

February 6, 2023

Two physicians overlooked an abnormal Pap smear report that resulted in an eight-month delay in the diagnosis of cervical cancer. Early intervention after Constellation was notified of the incident preserved the physicians relationship with the 44-year-old female patient.

A young physician experienced an adverse outcome after caring for a patient in a busy emergency department. Early intervention helped him navigate the unexpected event, heal, and learn.

A 30-year-old woman suffered an injured fallopian tube during surgery. Early intervention helped resolve this harm event within several months and without legal expenses.

Constellation’s early intervention philosophy

When harm events occur, Constellation supports policyholders from the moment they report the incident. We want to help reduce the amount of time clinicians and care teams experience stress or negative emotional impacts that adverse events may create, so they can continue to provide excellent care. If the event progresses to a lawsuit, we partner with highly skilled attorneys to defend good medicine and help protect the reputation of our insured clinicians, care teams and health care organizations.

The process starts with a simple step: report unanticipated outcomes to Constellation so we can launch our early intervention program, HEAL. After our team receives a report, we conduct a thorough event analysis to inform the next steps, all the way through resolution.

The benefits of early intervention

We know there’s a preconceived notion that reporting adverse events to your malpractice insurance carrier can have negative impacts.

“Constellation seeks to differentiate itself in the marketplace by encouraging early reporting without the fear of negative repercussions,” says Shelly Davis, Director of Early Intervention.

Early intervention after a harm event can help patients, senior living residents and care teams heal, a process that takes many forms. Early reporting can expedite the healing process. Fast action can also help deescalate an emotional situation that could otherwise continue to intensify.

Through HEAL, clinicians and care teams may receive:

  • Expert case review
  • Communication assistance
  • Clinician peer support
  • Risk consultation

Our experience shows that early reporting shortens the life cycle of case files where indemnity is paid. These shorter life cycles alleviate clinician stress and anxiety and lessen care team disruptions.

How Constellation can help: The HEAL Prepare Toolkit

Constellation’s HEAL Prepare Toolkit will help assess your team’s readiness to communicate following a pressure ulcer harm event like this one and help you get to best practices. The Toolkit includes assessments, best practices, sample tools and coaching. Start your journey by taking the HEAL Assessment, and then the Action Plan will guide you through the Toolkit’s four units: (1) culture, (2) event response, (3) communicating after harm events, and (4) moving forward. Sign in to ConstellationMutual.com to access the HEAL Prepare Toolkit found in Risk Resources.

Constellation’s HEAL program provides healing benefits for care teams and their organizations because we truly believe that what’s good for care teams is good for business.

Constellation® and HEAL® are trademarks of Constellation, Inc.

Share this blog article:

Latest Blog Articles

Who Is Most at Risk for Diagnostic Error Malpractice Claims?

The top responsible specialties involved in diagnostic error claims include emergency medicine, radiology, and family medicine. Learn how to reduce risks.

What We Learn From Malpractice Claims: The Top Drivers of Risk and Harm

The top drivers of malpractice claims are surgical treatment errors, diagnostic errors, and obstetrical errors. Learn more about how to mitigate risk.

Early Reporting Speeds Resolution After a Harm Event: Case Example

Improper medical treatment results in kidney failure but early reporting and intervention speeds the path to resolution for both the patient and care team.