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Can a Doctor's Smartphone App Thwart Lawsuits?

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, June 21, 2012

Though it didn't make national headlines, the case affected him deeply. As he pondered the litigation (which I'll get to in a bit,) he felt he had two options moving ahead:

He could:

  1. Keep practicing defensive medicine, or
  2. Develop a cell phone app to legally record conversations with patients so he didn't have to practice defensive medicine.

He chose option 2.

Nusbaum began his journey toward developing the app out of tragedy and legal headaches stemming from the New Jersey case.

According to Nusbaum, his practice was sued by a woman who said the physicians were at least partially responsible for the death of her husband, who was stricken with a cardiac ailment. The situation unfolded when the woman called the physician's office and asked if she should bring her husband, who was feeling ill, to the emergency department. Nusbaum's partner told her to go to the ED. The woman didn't take her husband, and the man died from a pulmonary embolism, Nusbaum says.

Later, the woman contended she wasn't told by the physician how important it was to go to the ED, according to Nusbaum. Nusbaum's partner was targeted in the civil suit, and later Nusbaum says he was named as a co-defendant, even though Nusbaum recalls the plaintiff telling him, "We love you, Dr. Nusbaum!"

Shaken by the experience, Nusbaum and his partner parted ways, which bothers him to this day. "We were best friends, but the lawsuit created a lot of tension," he explains ruefully.

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1 comments on "Can a Doctor's Smartphone App Thwart Lawsuits?"


Richard Berdelle (6/24/2012 at 6:07 PM)
This has nothing to do with defensive medicine unless placing a note in the chart about phone call in which patient told to go to ER is defensive medicine