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Malpractice and the Quality of Care

Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(6):836-838. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-6-836
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Physicians should be aware of the recent report on medical professional liability by the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Medical Professional Liability (1) (see review on p. 849), particularly for what it has to say with regard to relations between malpractice and quality assurance. Quality assurance, we sometimes need to remind ourselves, involves not only measuring the level of quality of care but, where necessary, taking steps to improve it.

Two to three years ago, a malpractice crisis appeared to threaten serious disruption in the medical care system. Premiums for malpractice insurance were rising astronomically, especially for surgeons in


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