Even if the medical malpractice claim against your clinic is denied, your company’s reputation may be adversely affected. And if the claimant is awarded a settlement, public opinion may start your practice on a downslide. Should the claim be escalated to a trial, the cost of your attorney’s fees may pale in comparison to the number of patients you lose due to a lack of confidence in the care you provide. The importance of defending your clinic’s reputation from the start cannot be overstated. Calling in professionals in the form of a PR firm is usually the best approach. They can offer an objective and experienced perspective on how to proceed and what strategies to develop. A PR firm can not only save your reputation; it can help save the future of your clinic.
Build Your Team
If a patient claims that a doctor or support personnel is responsible for causing them harm, they may or may not hire an attorney to represent them. Regardless of whether or not they represent themselves or hire an aggressive law firm, it’s important that you hire an attorney to protect your clinic. It may be tempting to offer the patient a sum of money to pay for their damages and try to save on the costs of a lawyer, but this could easily backfire if the patient comes back for more money and threatens to go public if you do not pay. There could be no end to that scenario. By hiring a lawyer to work out a formal settlement, you protect yourself. As part of the settlement, your lawyer can include the stipulation that the agreement must be kept confidential.
In addition to hiring a lawyer, it may be wise to hire a PR firm. This is especially true when a claim has the potential to grab news headlines or become a featured story on the evening newscast. Some types of liability and medical malpractice cases have the potential to garner significant public interest. You want a PR firm that is adept at working with the client’s attorney so that everyone is on the same page. As a medical provider, you also want the PR firm to be familiar with medical concerns and basic procedures.
Develop a Strategy
With your professional team in place, the priority should quickly shift to developing a strategy with the goal of defending your reputation after a claim of medical malpractice. Every situation is different because of the circumstances and the many details surrounding the incident and those involved. By working together with legal counsel and PR professionals, you can develop a strategy that is truthful and as informative as appropriate. Hoping that a bad situation will go away on its own is rarely a successful approach. By taking a proactive approach from the very beginning, you can limit the damage to your reputation and work to preserve your positive standing in the community.
Enlisting the help of a trusted PR firm is one of the first steps to arriving at a positive outcome.
To learn more about how a PR firm can help your organization, contact a PR firm in New York, today.
Thank you to the experts at Goldman McCormick PR for their input on managing PR in medical malpractice.