Denmark provides alternative healthcare system based on compensation not litigation. Data collected from claims used to improve system not punish practitioners.
Denmark offers a radically different alternative, as do similar programs in other Scandinavian countries and New Zealand. To be sure, these countries have nationalized health care systems, unlike the public-private model in the U.S. But alternative responses to patient harm have been tried on a smaller scale. Virginia, for example, has a program designed to compensate for severe neurological childbirth injuries that is similar in some ways to the Danish system.
Common to all these programs is a commitment to provide information and compensation to patients regardless of whether negligence is involved. That lowers the bar of entry for patients and doesn’t pit doctors against them, enabling providers to be open about what happened.
“It’s not easy to discuss a mistake, but there has to be a very safe relationship between doctor and patient,” Hamberg said. “The most important thing in patient safety is to talk about it.”
Learn more about How Denmark Dumped Medical Malpractice and Improved Patient Safety