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Early Resolution Jul 19, 2023

The Shift Towards Early Resolution

Why are healthcare leaders shifting away from a Deny and Defend legal strategy towards an Early Communication/Resolution?



Deny and Defend: Protecting Providers at All Costs

The Deny and Defend approach is characterized by a defensive stance where healthcare providers and institutions deny any wrongdoing, refuse to acknowledge mistakes, and defend themselves against claims. The primary focus is on minimizing liability and protecting the reputation of healthcare professionals and organizations. However, this approach often hinders open communication, transparency, and the opportunity to learn from adverse events.

Early Resolution: Fostering Patient Safety and Open Communication

Early Resolution represents a paradigm shift in healthcare risk management. It emphasizes a proactive and patient-centered approach, focusing on early identification of potential malpractice events, open communication with patients and families, and timely resolution of issues. This strategy promotes a culture of safety, where healthcare providers are encouraged to report incidents, learn from mistakes, and implement preventive measures.

Benefits of Early Resolution:

  1. Improved Patient Safety: Early Resolution places patient safety at the forefront by encouraging timely reporting of adverse events, leading to swift intervention and improved quality of care. For example, the University of Michigan Health System implemented an Early Resolution program and observed a 25% lower claims rate, demonstrating the positive impact on patient safety.
  2. Open Communication: By embracing Early Resolution, healthcare providers can engage in honest and empathetic communication with patients and their families. This fosters trust, improves patient satisfaction, and reduces the likelihood of litigation. According to a CLM study, 37% of patients believe they could have avoided lawsuits with an explanation and apology, emphasizing the importance of open communication.
  3. Learning Culture: Early Resolution allows healthcare organizations to learn from adverse events and systemic failures. It facilitates the implementation of corrective measures, preventing similar incidents in the future. Some organizations adopting Early Resolution strategies have experienced a decrease in monthly liability costs, demonstrating the positive impact on organizational learning.
  4. Cost Savings: While Deny and Defend approaches can result in prolonged legal battles and high financial costs, Early Resolution has the potential to reduce liability expenses, claims, and litigation fees. For example, in the University of Michigan Health System, the implementation of an Early Resolution program led to a decrease in the monthly liability cost rate.


The shift from Deny and Defend to Early Resolution represents a fundamental change in healthcare risk management. Early Resolution prioritizes patient safety, open communication, and proactive risk mitigation. By embracing this approach, healthcare organizations can foster a culture of safety, enhance patient care, and reduce the financial and reputational risks associated with traditional Deny and Defend strategies.

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.

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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