Association between reportable preventable adverse events and unfavorable decisions in medical malpractice claims involving obstetricians covered by FEPASDE Colombia 1999 to 2014. Case-control study
Reportable, preventable events are potential causes for medical liability litigation. It is important to determine whether the occurrence of such events increases the risk of unfavorable legal or ethical decisions.
To assess the association between the occurrence of a reportable preventable event and unfavorable legal and ethical decisions in medical liability processes against obstetricians.
Materials and methods:
Case-control study. Population: obstetricians affiliated to FEPASDE, with legal or ethical claims closed between 1999 and 2014 in Colombia. Cases: obstetricians with unfavorable judicial decision in malpractice claims. Controls: obstetricians with a favorable judicial decision. Sample: 322 subjects (64 cases, 258 controls). Analysis: variables concerning the obstetrician, the institution, the process, and the patient were measured. Bi-varied and multivaried analyses with a logistic regression model were conducted, using a propensity score or index.
An association was identified between the occurrence of the reportable preventable event and an unfavorable ruling (OR=4,4; CI 95%: 2,23 - 8,76). Other associated factors included: private institution (OR = 2.3 95% CI: 1.14-4.51), type of civil claim (OR = 14.1 95% CI: 5.51-36.04), product diagnosis-demise (OR = 3.1 95% CI: 1.64-5.94), history of other unfavorable proceedings (OR = 2.3 95% CI: 1.27-4.06). Inadequacies in the prevention and medication therapy were associated with an unfavorable ruling (P < 0.05).
The presence of reportable preventable events is associated with an unfavorable legal or ethical decision in malpractice claims involving obstetricians. Inadequate patient management and poor functioning of the hospital care system provide opportunities for intervention to reduce the risk of an unfavorable legal or ethical decisions in malpractice claims.
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