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Journal Article > Study
Pettker CM, Thung SF, Lipkind HS, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014;211:319-325.
A comprehensive obstetric patient safety program at an academic hospital—which involved teamwork training, standardizing care protocols, and establishing a robust quality assurance mechanism (including a dedicated patient safety nurse and an anonymous error reporting system)—has previously been shown to decrease adverse events and improve safety culture. This follow-up study demonstrates that the program was also associated with a reduction in malpractice claims and total payments over a 5-year period. The relationship between patient safety and malpractice claims is complex, as claims data likely do not correlate with overall safety. However, the results of this study, along with other studies showing that full disclosure of adverse events can reduce malpractice claims, lends support to the belief that improving safety culture can have downstream effects on malpractice lawsuits at the health-system level.