Study Links Fewer Safety Events to Decline in Malpractice Claims
A reduction in the frequency of preventable adverse events at California hospitals coincided with a reduction in medical malpractice claims, according to a RAND Institute for Civil Justice study released Wednesday, HealthLeaders Media reports.
The study compared the incidence of 17 types of adverse safety events with the number of medical malpractice claims filed in all California counties between 2001 and 2005 (Clark, HealthLeaders Media, 4/15).
Researchers found variation among California counties in the frequency of both adverse events and malpractice claims.
They also found an association between a county's annual rate of adverse events and the number of malpractice claims filed (RAND release, 4/15). For example, the study found that counties with 10 fewer adverse events in a year could expect to see 3.7 fewer malpractice claims filed that year.
Report authors say the study is the first to suggest that efforts to improve patient safety could contribute to fewer medical malpractice claims (HealthLeaders Media, 4/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.