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Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Medical Liability

Malpractice Limits Affect Physician Supply
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005


Research Findings

Research Activities, July 2008:
Doctors are willing to report and learn from medical mistakes, but find error-reporting systems inadequate
Most patients want doctors to disclose severe medical errors
Counting surgical sponges and instruments can prevent some being left in the patient, but better methods are needed
Patient complaints about poor coordination of care or other services may help identify patient safety hazards

Research Activities, April 2008:
Despite lack of evidence of benefit, PSA testing for prostate cancer screening has increased dramatically

Research Activities, March 2008:
New patient safety proposed regulation aims to improve health care quality and patient safety
Hospital incident reporting systems often miss physician high-risk procedure and prescribing errors
Studies reveal factors contributing to technical errors in surgery and medical errors made by physician trainees

Research Activities, February 2008:
Physicians want to learn from medical mistakes but say current error-reporting systems are inadequate

Research Activities, January 2008:
Possible problematic drug interactions are not always reported in medical records

Research Activities, December 2007:
Full disclosure of medical errors to patients is becoming more and more transparent
Many errors by medical residents are caused by teamwork breakdowns and lack of supervision

Research Activities, August 2007:
More than one-third of hospitalized patients are concerned about medical errors, which they define more broadly than clinicians
Over half of missed diagnoses in the emergency department alleged in malpractice claims resulted in harm to patients

Research Activities, February 2007:
Diagnostic errors that harm outpatients are typically the result of multiple individual and system breakdowns
Few patients seek compensation for medical injuries through New Zealand's no-fault medical malpractice system
Not adjusting for pre-existing health problems may have exaggerated the number of deaths due to medical injury

Research Activities, January 2007:
Studies reveal that error disclosure is similar among American and Canadian doctors, despite different malpractice environments
Clinical and social factors predict application for Social Security disability benefits by workers with back injuries

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Research Activities, October 2006:
Medical malpractice laws capping damage payments appear to lower State health care expenditures by 3 to 4 percent
Over half of compensation for medical malpractice claims goes toward administrative expenses

Research Activities, September 2006:
Study identifies factors contributing to growth in hospital inpatient costs since 1998

Research Activities, July 2006:
Surgeons vary widely in their approaches to disclosing medical errors to their patients

Research Activities, April 2006
AHRQ study finds wrong-site surgery is rare and preventable

Research Activities, March 2006
Do-not-resuscitate orders for terminally ill children may not be honored by public schools
Fear of malpractice prompts emergency physicians to practice defensive medicine with potential heart attack patients

Research Activities, December 2005:
Concerns about medical malpractice suits may lead to more diagnostic mammograms and biopsy recommendations
Caps on malpractice awards increase the State supply of physicians, especially in rural areas

Research Activities, November 2005:
Web-based patient safety education curriculum incorporates suggestions from physicians, nurses, and patients
Study discusses the legal aspects of providers sharing information on medical errors

Research Activities, August 2005:
Physicians welcome patients' participation in medical decisionmaking

Research Activities, June 2005:
Physician supply increases in States with caps on malpractice lawsuit awards, with the greatest impact in rural areas

Research Activities, February 2005:
Policies are being considered to extend medical malpractice tort reforms to the nursing home sector

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Research Activities, December 2004:
Improving nurses' working conditions can potentially decrease the incidence of many infectious diseases

Research Activities, November 2004:
Shift work affects the health and work performance of nurses and other health care workers
Researchers examine factors that affect voluntary reporting of medication errors

Research Activities, October 2004:
Extended work shifts, common among nurses, substantially increases the likelihood of medical errors
Physicians say they favor disclosure of medical errors to patients and families, but disclosure often does not occur

Research Activities, September 2004:
Hospital providers' understanding of patient safety is heavily influenced by their professional roles
Researchers examine the challenges of ensuring the safety of cardiovascular devices

Research Activities, August 2004:
Medication errors are frequent in the emergency department and often arise from the fast pace and heavy patient load
Teaching anesthesia during surgery may be a distraction that reduces the vigilance of anesthesia care

Research Activities, July 2004:
Medical errors appear to be common among ICU patients, and a simple blame-free reporting system can help identify them

Research Activities, June 2004:
Doctors' disclosure of medical errors improves patient satisfaction but may not prevent legal action
Most appeals to two of the Nation's largest HMOs to cover emergency care are resolved in favor of patients

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