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Patient Safety Reform Better For Patients And Doctors

April 21, 2010

RAND Study – Patient Safety Also Benefits Doctors

That common sense conclusion is the recent finding from the RAND Corporation, a think tank and research center.

In a recent study, the group finds that when patient injuries were reduced in California hospitals there were fewer medical malpractice claims.

The cries for tort reform to limit a patients’ ability to bring an injury claim, frequently fail to look at the impact an improved patient safety picture can have on reducing malpractice claims against doctors.

The research group analyzed medical malpractice insurance records in California from 2001 to 2005. California was chosen because it initiated medical malpractice reform 35 years ago and any fallout would not be recent. It also has a large and diverse population.

Researchers studied medical malpractice claims – that is claims by patients who had received poor care such as contracting a hospital infection, having a surgical instrument left in them, and receiving the wrong medication, among other preventable adverse events.

Using the records from four of the largest medical malpractice insurers in the state, researchers analyzed 365,000 adverse safety events and 27,000 malpractice claims that followed.

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