HL20: Bob Malizzo—Learning From a Nightmare

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , December 13, 2012

"The positive thing that is coming out of this for hospitals is they are starting to see financially that they are actually saving money by being transparent because you eliminate the middle man attorney," he says. "The hospital makes the mistake. They make people whole again financially and then they move on and learn from their mistake. At UIC, their insurance premiums dropped $10 million this year because of being transparent, because of sitting down and talking with people and saying, 'It is our fault and what do we need to do to make you whole again?' "

"Maybe if we had gone to court we could have gotten more money but that isn't going to bring my daughter back and we were going to have a five- or six-year fight on our hands and your anger is intensified," he says.

The Malizzos will never get over Michelle's death. "It is something that as a parent you live with every day. When you see your grandkids you automatically think about your daughter and the things you did with her and the grandkids. It never leaves."

But the family endures by learning from tragedy. "It's gotten to the point where I am a patient at UIC. I have a bad heart," he says. "I am on the patient safety board and we see how hard they are trying to eliminate errors."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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