Friday, December 21, 2012

On Malpractice 

I have often observed that the problem with malpractice was that there was too much of it.   

Now I see that I am not alone in that opinion.   

The December 10 issue of Modern Healthcare included an article on infant mortality.  The article discussed the experience of a 14-hospital childbirth safety initiative.  The group is part of something known as the Premier healthcare alliance.  Premier led the initiative, which reportedly reduced by 25% the number of incidents that potentially cause brain damage.   

According to the article, Hospital Corporation of America, a national hospital chain that delivers more babies than any other organization, and New York-Presbyterian hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center reported significant drops in malpractice claims after implementing obstetric safety programs. 

Midway in the article, Amy Romano, associate director for programs of a New York organization called Childbirth Connection, was quoted as saying that the solution to medical malpractice troubles lies not with legislatures but with clinical efforts such as Premier’s.  Referring to the Premier experience, she was also quoted as saying “These kind of patient safety initiatives are really the most promising intervention for tort reform – instead of capping damages.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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