Not all medical injuries are the result of negligence. In fact, most medical injuries are the result either of the inherent risk in the practice of medicine, or due to system errors, which cannot be prevented simply through fear of disciplinary action. This paper will discuss the differences between adverse events, negligence, and system errors; the current medical malpractice tort system in the United States; and review current and future solutions, including medical malpractice reform, alternative dispute resolution, health courts, and no-fault compensation systems. The current political environment favors investigation of non-cap tort reform remedies; investment into more rational oversight systems, such as health courts or no-fault systems may reap both quantitative and qualitative benefits for a less costly and safer health system.
Sohn DH, Negligence, genuine error, and litigation. International Journal of General Medicine, February 2013, 2013:6 pages 49-56. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S24256. Published: 15 February 2013.