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Complaints, mistakes, and how to minimize problems 

Complaints, mistakes, and how to minimize problems
Chapter:
Complaints, mistakes, and how to minimize problems
Author(s):

James Harvey

, Sue Down

, Rachel Bright-Thomas

, John Winstanley

, and Hugh Bishop

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199215065.003.0026
Page of

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date: 17 August 2019

Complaints, mistakes and how to minimize problems. Complaints may arise where patients are anxious and any member(s) of the medical team fail to meet their expectations. A suggested approach to dealing with complaints in a timely manner is given by an expert in the medicolegal aspects of breast disease, in an attempt to improve the patient's experience and prevent undue litigation. Delay in the diagnosis of breast cancer is the most frequent cause of litigation in breast disease. Thus, a clear approach to documentation in the breast clinic is given, suggesting ways to improve note keeping. Areas which commonly give rise to complaints are identified; including poorly organized or poorly staffed clinics, management of the pregnant woman with concerns about her breast, assessment of problems in the presence of breast implants, failure of multidisciplinary working and unrealistic expectations or inadequate delivery of oncoplastic breast surgery. Finally, a grid is included to help structure triple assessment of the breast and to ensure that discordant cases are identified early and adequately discussed in the multidisciplinary meeting.

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