Medical malpractice lawsuits provide accountability for medical errors and allow injured patients to recover compensation. However, another benefit of malpractice suits has been overlooked: the improved safety of American health care.
More than 95 percent of hospitals use information from medical malpractice lawsuits to improve the quality of their patient safety programs, according to a study by Joanna C. Schwartz that was recently published in the New York Times. When a patient files suit, it puts a spotlight on a medical mistake. If this illumination doesn't occur, there is a good chance the instance will be ignored, overlooked or considered unimportant.