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Using Medical Chaperones to Create a Safer Patient Experience

May 15, 2019

The healthcare setting often involves sensitive and intimate exams that present challenges other businesses don’t face. Medical chaperones can help provide a level of comfort for patients and may help ensure the best possible experience for patients and providers alike. In so doing, the likelihood of a sexual misconduct allegation based on a misunderstanding is greatly reduced.1

Sexual Harassment a Risk for Both Patient and Physician

Concerns

  • Average indemnity payment in claims involving improper sexual conduct by a physician: $131,2953
  • Physicians who said they had been sexually harassed by a patient: 27%4

Challenges

  • Ensuring a safe and comfortable clinical encounter for both patient and physician

Best Practices

  • Risk management recommendations for incorporating medical chaperones into the clinical encounter

 

References

1. NORCAL Group Risk Management CME webinar. “Professionalism and Utilization of Medical Chaperones: Avoiding Allegations of Familiarity/Sexual Impropriety.” 10/10/2018.

2. American Medical Association. “Use of Chaperones: Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 1.2.4.” (accessed 2/19/19)

3. Medical Professional Liability Association (MPL) Data Sharing Project. Sexual misconduct allegations and claims data (2006–2015) as reported by member carriers, including NORCAL Group companies. Used with permission.

4. Leslie Kane. “Patients Sexually Harassing Physicians: Report 2018.” Medscape, 7/11/2018. (accessed 1/22/2019)

Filed under: Special Report, Practice Manager, Physician, Patient Experience

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