In the fast-moving world of healthcare, thorough investigations are now more crucial than ever.
As proved by the Department of Health & Social Care’s (DHSC) own recent investigations, including the Paterson Inquiry Report (1) and consultation on clinical negligence cover for regulated healthcare professionals (HCPs) (2), independent investigations can provide important impartial insights into various aspects of healthcare that deliver the right kind of change.
This not only improves levels of accountability and transparency but also ultimately enhances the quality of healthcare services and clinical standards maintained by healthcare providers.
Having been at the forefront of independent investigations for years, in this article, we take a detailed look into how we’ve been able to achieve this, highlighting some of the key benefits that our independent investigation process has had in ensuring the right outcome is reached and any relevant learnings actioned.
1. Reduced litigation
One of the biggest benefits of our independent investigation service has been its role in reducing litigation. By conducting an investigation early enough when concerns are raised, this can encourage early settlement and avoid unnecessary claims being brought, meaning the significant stress for patients and HCP’s arising from an unnecessary litigation process can be avoided.
With research finding that nearly 50% of clinical negligence cases notified at the pre-action protocol phase lack the evidence required to prove malpractice when investigated (4), our own investigative process aims to comprehensively examine concerns raised and, ultimately, stop any lawsuits escalating unnecessarily and encourage early settlement.
2. Restored patient confidence
Healthcare is designed to protect patients. Therefore, it is imperative for patients to have full trust in the system, especially when trying to deliver the highest level of service.
In order to do this effectively, however, patients need to be prioritised, respected and, in the event of any concerns, heard.
Through our independent investigation process, we play a pivotal role in restoring patient confidence by assuring patients that any issues they have are being listened to and investigated thoroughly, by an independent and unbiased body (rather than the typical position of self-investigation within state and private bodies).
Thanks to the independent nature of the investigations we perform, as well as our commitment to recommending corrective actions when required, we can seamlessly rebuild trust back into the healthcare system, helping foster improved relationships between patients and HCPs.
3. Improved clinical standards
By maintaining an open line of communication with healthcare professionals, patients and insurers, our independent investigations help adopt a learning-based approach towards addressing any potential failings in care.
Rather than looking for someone to pin the blame on, we aim to encourage a culture of continuous improvement in clinical standards.
Our independent investigations are designed to deliver tailored advice and recommendations that help encourage HCPs to continually enhance the clinical care they offer to their patients.
4. Clear outcomes
As we’ve highlighted already, communication is key in any avenue of healthcare and independent investigations are no exception.
That’s why, here at TMLEP, each of our investigators presents their findings in as clear and concise a manner as possible, providing a comprehensive, written report that outlines key advice and tailored recommendations.
Through this commitment to transparent communication, our investigators can remain available even after submitting their report to address any further queries. This is to ensure all the relevant parties are kept well-informed and fully understand any of the next steps required.
5. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency
When investigating healthcare concerns, time is of the essence in most cases. And this is something our investigators understand all too well at TMLEP; patients understandably need answers, insurers need to understand their liability, and HCP’s are often facing restrictions on their practice pending the completion of an investigation.
Thanks to our years of experience and expertise within the industry, our peer-led independent investigations can eliminate any unnecessary delays to deliver answers more efficiently, providing all parties with the information they need to handle claims.
We can also join ongoing investigations to attend clinician interviews, site visits and meetings while operating at arm’s length to guarantee complete independence.
That way, we can ensure a complete lack of bias in the process – one of the biggest reasons patients or HCPs have for delaying or being dissatisfied with an investigation
Trust TMLEP for your independent investigation
Independent healthcare investigations are crucial to not only improving patient care and safety but also ensuring the right outcome is reached. With over 53,000 investigations completed since 2012, we are proud to have established ourselves as a trusted partner for healthcare professionals and insurers globally.
Our team is comprised of specialist investigators, who collaborate with over 2,500 clinical members to ensure that each investigation is conducted with the high level of expertise and insight required (4).
To find out more about this service, why not get in touch? Our friendly team spanning across the UK and Australia are only a phone call away and would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.