Malpractice lawyer Steve Cohen writing in a [s]Kevin MD[/s] report says that negative publicity that often accompanies high-profile malpractice suits can have a galvanising effect on prodding reform.
He says the best example was in 1982 – after a spate of bad publicity triggered by large malpractice verdicts, the [b]American Society of Anaesthesiologists[/b] conducted a comprehensive assessment of what had been injuring patients. They then revamped their procedures and within 10 years, the mortality rate from anaesthesia dropped from 1 in 6,000 administrations to 1 in 200,000. Anaesthesiologists’ malpractice insurance rates fell to among the lowest of any specialty.
In the [b]UK[/b], hospitals will be hailed for coming clean about their medical errors, in new national ratings which found one in five is not being open about risks to patients. [s]The Daily Telegraph[/s] reports that an [s]NHS[/s] safety website will compare the performance of every hospital in the country, allowing patients to check ward staffing levels, infection rates, and indicators which attempt to measure how ‘open and honest’ the organisation is.
Patient campaigners said the move was an important step towards changing the culture of the NHS, and reducing 12,000 avoidable deaths each year. The report says evidence from the [b]US[/b] suggests that hospitals which increase the number of patient safety incidents logged have seen the number of negligence claims fall dramatically.
[link url=http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2014/06/malpractice-lawsuits-arent-just-money.html]Full Kevin MD report[/link]
[link url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10921332/One-in-five-hospitals-rated-poor-for-honesty-on-safety-risks.html]Full report in The Daily Telegraph[/link]