• Study
  • Published March 2018

Multisource evaluation of surgeon behavior is associated with malpractice claims.

Physicians who receive more patient complaints about communication and behavior are more likely to face malpractice claims. This study examined whether results from surgeons' 360-degree reviews, in which team members evaluate a range of professional attributes and behaviors, were associated with risk of malpractice claims. Surgeons with worse performance for attentiveness, informing others, and considering others' suggestions had a significantly higher risk for malpractice claims. Surgeons in the highest 10% for the negative behaviors of snapping at or talking down to others also were more likely to have malpractice claims. These results echo prior studies of physician behavior and malpractice risk. The authors suggest that addressing negative behaviors among surgeons could mitigate malpractice risk. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed patient complaints as safety surveillance.

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