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Federal program shares similarities with Michigan Model on med mal dispute resolution

A federal program being promoted by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is now seeking to implement in federally funded hospitals some of the same principles that have made the dispute resolution model used at the University of Michigan Health System so successful.

The program, known as Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) was introduced last month after being tested at a number of hospitals and health systems. Through the CANDOR Toolkit, hospitals are given resources to assist them in adopting an approach to medical incidents that will keep patients more in the loop about medical errors and help prevent medical malpractice litigation. 

Below we compare some of the features of the approach used at the University of Michigan Health System and the CANDOR program: 


Michigan Model

Communicate with patient within one hour of incident

Communicate openly and directly with the patient after an incident

Keep in touch with patient and family throughout investigation and interview about what happened

Review incident thoroughly and conduct peer review, identifying ways to prevent future incidents

Put halt on billing process during investigation

Meet with patient and legal counsel to review care and answer questions

Complete investigation within a month or two

Apologize if the incident is deemed to be the provider’s fault and attempt to resolve the matter quickly and fairly

Discuss investigation with patients and family members how to prevent future incidents



Negotiate financial compensation with patient if investigation reveals hospital at fault


As can be seen there are some significant similarities between the two programs. In our next post, we’ll continue looking at the CANDOR program and why it is important to be represented by experienced legal counsel when something goes wrong, regardless of where you are receiving care.

Source:, “The Michigan Model: Medical Malpractice and Patient Safety at UMHS,” June 20, 2016.

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