Friday, May 17, 2013

Medical Malpractice Claims Improve Medical Care

Joanna C. Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Law at UCLA, reported the findings of a large study she conducted in an op-ed in the New York Times this morning.  She found (in part):

"The assumed negative effects of malpractice litigation on patient safety have been used to justify numerous proposals for reform, including damages caps and “health courts,” administrative bodies that adjudicate malpractice claims outside the tort system. Politicians, patient safety advocates and medical providers argue that such reforms will encourage more open discussions of medical error by removing the specter of liability.

"My study suggests, however, that hospitals can — and have — found ways to increase openness and transparency without these dramatic interventions. Moreover, because lawsuits help to identify incidents and details of medical error, limitations on lawsuits may actually impede patient safety efforts."

Just saying . . .

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