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Medical Malpractice$
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Frank A. Sloan and Lindsey M. Chepke

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262195720

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262195720.001.0001

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Patient Safety and Medical Malpractice

Patient Safety and Medical Malpractice

Chapter:
(p.188) (p.189) 8 Patient Safety and Medical Malpractice
Source:
Medical Malpractice
Author(s):

A. Sloan Frank

M. Chepke Lindsey

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262195720.003.0008

This chapter shows that despite all the national attention on the issue of medical errors, surprisingly little progress has been made in implementing error reduction systems. This is partly because meaningful financial incentives for health care providers to adopt patient safety measures have been lacking. In principle, tort liability could provide such incentives, but not as it is currently structured in the medical field. And under the best of circumstances, tort liability is only one of several policy instruments that can be applied to make medical care safer than it is now. The threat of a lawsuit would presumably deter such errors, but there is empirical evidence that such errors are widespread, and some experts even argue that medical malpractice has been counterproductive in achieving the objective of reducing medical error rates.

Keywords:   medical errors, error reduction, patient safety, tort liability, medical malpractice

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