How malpractice cases can actually make medicine better
A new study done by a leading medical malpractice insurance company is using over 10,000 medical malpractice lawsuits to help doctors and hospitals figure out how to avoid the “common pitfalls” that lead to medical negligence.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal this week, The Doctors Company’s study has led to some concrete changes in the way hospitals work. One example noted is how a San Diego hospital, after reviewing the data from the study, realized they were being sued again and again for failures to “explore a wound that was infected or contained foreign bodies,” the Journal stated, due to the wounds suffered by many beach-goers who have been stung by stingrays. The hospital has since changed its policies to have a doctor examine every major wound before it is sutured, as compared to its previous routine of having nurses or physician assistants treat the wounds.
Although medical malpractice lawsuits aren’t an ideal solution to stopping negligence, they do work in pushing hospitals and doctors to be at their best and, as we see in this new study, can be an effective tool in improving all of our medical care.
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