Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pardon Me While I Gloat 

For years I have been making the argument that hospitals should be less concerned about the legal aspects of malpractice and more concerned about preventing it.  So far as I could tell, I was a voice crying in the wilderness. 

I now see that others are picking up the point. 

The May 17 issue of the New York Times carries an op-ed piece by one Joanna C. Schwartz, an assistant professor of law at UCLA.  She discussed a study she had conducted which found that hospital “risk managers and patient-safety personnel overwhelmingly report that lawsuit data have proved useful in efforts to identify and address error.” 

The piece closed with this statement:  “The Affordable Care Act pours millions into patient safety for research centers, demonstration projects and other programs.  Proposed reforms and initiatives should not rely on conventional wisdom about the negative effects of malpractice litigation.  Medical-malpractice lawsuits do not have the harmful effects on patient safety that they are imagined to have – and, in fact, they can do some good.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself. 

Pardon me while I gloat.

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