Reacting to a published article on diagnostic errors in neurology, he noted that the report understated the problem and did not provide practical advice to neurologists on how to better deal with the issue. His letter states two fundamental principles to apply in order to manage the risks.
The first is for the practitioner to come to a clear understanding about how evidenced-based medicine can be used to treat patients, and conversely, how this knowledge can be used against the practitioner in a clinic and in court. Once it is understood, stringent patient treatment documentation will become habitual, saving the physician from additional lawsuits as compared to other means of risk mitigation.
The second principle is for the physician to become aware of the scenarios that will usually lead to litigation. When faced with one of these scenarios, the practitioner should escalate attention, increase followups, and promptly address patient complaints. Adhering to these principles will lead to better patient outcomes and lower the probability of a malpractice suit.
Dr. James C. Johnston provides specific examples in a recent chapter published in Neurologic Clinics 2016 entitled "Neurological Fallacies Leading to Malpractice: A Case Series Approach." This article may be accessed on researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/James_Johnston6/contributions