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When Hospitals Stress Patient Safety, Obstetric Malpractice Claims Decline

A Connecticut hospital saw a 50% drop in obstetric malpractice liability claims and payments when it made  patient safety  initiatives a priority, according to a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

By training doctors and nurses to improve teamwork and communication, and standardizing practices, the hospital found a 50% reduction in liability claims. In addition, the hospital found that the payments made for these liability claims decreased 95% — from over $50 million to under $3 million.

More importantly, the hospital found that the safety-improvement program reduced the amount and severity of bad outcomes for patients, and created an improved culture of safety on obstetrical units.

This is not surprising. When patient safety takes priority over hospital profits, it results in better outcomes for patients. This, in turn, results in fewer liability claims. And the icing on the cake for the hospitals is the drastic reduction in the amount of liability payments. In the end, focusing on patient safety is a “win-win” for patients and hospitals – patients receive better care, and