Medical malpractice claims, risk reduction tactics in obstetrics

August 19, 2020

In July 2019, a jury awarded $229.6 million in the largest medical malpractice verdict ever in the United States.

Successfully navigating the professional liability environment in ob/gyn can be difficult, especially amid a global pandemic. Liability issues and malpractice claims continue to increase, which may call for a shift in the ways of ob/gyn practice.

In July 2019, a jury awarded $229.6 million in the largest medical malpractice verdict ever in the United States1. In that case, her provider said she could terminate the pregnancy because the baby was non-viable. As a result, the patient declined a C-section and her provider stopped monitoring the fetus. With insufficient levels of oxygen to the brain, the baby was born with brain damage2.

Four months later, another jury award of $229.6 million was settled3. According to local news sources, the infant suffered brain damage after an emergency C-section was not performed3.

As Vice President of Risk Management, Quality, and Compliance for the nation’s largest ob/gyn hospitalist organization, Heather Moore discusses the issues surrounding medical malpractice claims and identifies key risk mitigation strategies in a recent article from Medical Economics.

Moore advises ob/gyns and hospital systems to be proactive, saying that hospitals should take steps to address risk mitigation and quality control. Doing so can significantly decrease the likelihood of a successful medical malpractice claim.

Moore also discusses a 2016 study by Ob Hospitalist Group that aimed to identify key risk mitigation strategies that resulted in significant claims reductions. They found that a 31% reduction in perinatal serious-harm events at hospitals was associated with one factor: the implementation of an OB hospitalist program.

Gain additional insight and expertise into medical malpractice claims and risk reduction in Moore’s article for Medical Economics,The evolving liability landscape and obstetrical care.

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References
  1. Cohn M. Baltimore jury’s record $229 million malpractice verdict may change a life – but likely not the system. The Baltimore Sun. Jul 4, 2019.
  2. Sheridan S. Single mother wins $50 million in medical malpractice case. Expert Institute. Nov. 14, 2019.
  3. Yu E. ‘Largest Medical Malpractice Verdict in U.S. History’ Awarded To Maryland Woman. WAMU 88.5. Sep 26, 2019.