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Early Resolution Jul 19, 2023

Stages in Early Resolution vs. Deny and Defend: A Comparative Analysis

What are the differences between early resolution strategies and legacy processes? Read this article to learn more.



Stages in Early Resolution:

  1. Early Identification: Early Resolution strategies emphasize prompt identification of potential malpractice events through active reporting of adverse events and system failures. This stage allows for swift intervention, minimizing harm, and improving patient safety.
  2. Open Communication: Transparent communication among all parties involved, including patients, providers, legal counsel, and risk and patient safety departments, is crucial in Early Resolution. Open communication builds trust, allows for timely disclosure of information, and involves patients and their families in the resolution process, reducing the likelihood of litigation.
  3. Investigation and Resolution: Thorough investigations into adverse events are conducted to identify systemic failures and areas for improvement. This stage includes internal reviews, peer assessments, and case analysis to determine root causes and implement corrective measures. Prompt resolution and compensation, when appropriate, promote healing for patients and providers.

Stages in Deny and Defend:

  1. Denial: In the Deny and Defend approach, the initial stage involves denying any wrongdoing and refusing to acknowledge mistakes. This defensive stance hinders open communication and transparency.
  2. Litigation: Deny and Defend often leads to lengthy legal battles involving retaining legal counsel and engaging in adversarial litigation proceedings. The focus is on minimizing liability and protecting the reputation of healthcare professionals and organizations, often at the expense of open dialogue and patient safety.
  3. Settlement or Trial: The final stage in Deny and Defend involves settling the case or proceeding to trial. Settlements may be driven by financial considerations rather than genuine resolution, while trials can be costly and emotionally draining. Consequently, this approach is more likely to result in a nuclear verdict.

Comparison and Implications:

Early Resolution prioritizes patient safety, open communication, and proactive risk management. By embracing Early Resolution, healthcare organizations can reduce liability costs, enhance patient satisfaction, and foster trust among patients, providers, and legal stakeholders. The stages of Early Resolution empower healthcare professionals to address adverse events promptly, investigate systemic failures, and implement preventive measures.

Medplace, with its fast case review services, provides organizations with timely evidence to support early resolution. By utilizing Medplace's resources, healthcare organizations can streamline the early resolution process, ensuring efficient handling of cases and facilitating the implementation of corrective actions.


In summary, understanding the stages involved in Early Resolution and Deny and Defend reveals the significant differences between these approaches. The evidence suggests that there are strong advantages to Early Resolution in promoting patient safety, open communication, and proactive risk management. Healthcare organizations should consider adopting Early Resolution strategies and leveraging resources like Medplace to prioritize patient well-being and build a culture of safety within their institutions.

Interested in fast, efficient case reviews to help your organization resolve early and avoid nuclear verdicts? Join our upcoming event and learn why top organizations rely on Medplace for case reviews.



Adrienne leads the Medplace clinical operations team and oversees the recruitment, onboarding, and training of the network. She holds over 30 years of experience in Medical ICU, Quality & Risk and Medical Malpractice Defense work.


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