From 1996 to 2001, staff at Vanderbilt University Medical Center implemented and evaluated a model program to identify and intervene with health care providers at high risk of generating malpractice claims.
In the project, researchers identified physicians — at Vanderbilt and at four community hospitals in Alabama — who had generated a high level of complaints. They randomly assigned them to either an intervention group that received counseling from mentor physicians or to a control group that received no counseling.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) Improving Malpractice Prevention and Compensation Systems national program.
- Project staff developed a patient complaint analysis system to identify and improve the performance of high-complaint physicians.
Key Findings: Preliminary evaluation findings indicated that:
- The Vanderbilt high-complaint physicians assigned to the intervention group generally responded constructively to the initial interventions.
- The complaint index for the physicians in the intervention group improved.