The relationship between malpractice claims history and subsequent obstetric care.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To determine the relationship between prior malpractice claims experience and the quality of clinical obstetric care.


Historical cohort study of obstetricians, classified by their prior malpractice claims experience, with blinded review of medical records from their practices 5 to 10 years later.


Florida obstetricians who lost, settled, or defended malpractice claims between 1977 and 1983 and who were still practicing obstetrics in 1987.

Main outcome measures

Objective and subjective assessment of quality of clinical care of patients attended by obstetricians with different histories of malpractice claims.


No differences were found in any of the objective or subjective measures of the quality of clinical care provided to patients of obstetricians who were classified into one of four groups according to their prior claims history.


No relationship was found between prior malpractice claims experience and the technical quality of practice by Florida obstetricians. Strategies that attempt to identify physicians at risk for future clinical errors by using data on prior malpractice claims (such as the National Practitioner Data Bank) may be misjudging the likelihood that substandard clinical care will be provided by physicians with prior claims.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Entman, SS; Glass, CA; Hickson, GB; Githens, PB; Whetten-Goldstein, K; Sloan, FA

Published Date

  • November 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 272 / 20

Start / End Page

  • 1588 - 1591

PubMed ID

  • 7966868

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-3598

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0098-7484

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/jama.1994.03520200044033


  • eng