General practice location and malpractice litigation

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Healthcare systems in many countries struggle to recruit general practitioners (GPs) for clinics in rural areas leading to less GPs for an increasing number of patients. As a result, fewer resources are available for individual patients, potentially influencing patient satisfaction and the likelihood of malpractice litigation. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between malpractice litigation and local setting characteristics in a Danish national sample of GPs considering rurality, number of patients listed with the GP, as well as levels of local unemployment, education, income and healthcare expenditure.

METHOD: This is a register study on Danish complaint files and administrative register data using multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS: No statistical significant association could be established between litigation figures and rurality, occupation with respect to education, and municipality level of healthcare expenditures. However, larger patient list size was associated with higher rates of malpractice litigation (odds ratio (OR) 1.05 per 100 patients). Litigation was less frequent in settings with higher income patient populations (OR 0.65), although where it did occur the criticism seemed much more likely to be justified (OR 6.03).

CONCLUSION: Many GPs face an increasing workload in terms of patient lists. This can cause drawbacks in terms of patient dissatisfaction and malpractice litigation even though local factors such as economic wealth apparently interfere. Further research is needed about the role of geographic variations, workload and socioeconomic inequality in malpractice litigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4663
JournalRural and Remote Health
Volume19
Issue number1
Number of pages5
ISSN1445-6354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Malpractice
Jurisprudence
general practitioner
General Practice
General Practitioners
workload
expenditures
Odds Ratio
income
local factors
Workload
Delivery of Health Care
complaint
municipality
unemployment
education
Education
occupation
rural area
criticism

Keywords

  • Denmark
  • General practice
  • Malpractice
  • Primary care
  • Rural practice

Cite this

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title = "General practice location and malpractice litigation",
abstract = "INTRODUCTION: Healthcare systems in many countries struggle to recruit general practitioners (GPs) for clinics in rural areas leading to less GPs for an increasing number of patients. As a result, fewer resources are available for individual patients, potentially influencing patient satisfaction and the likelihood of malpractice litigation. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between malpractice litigation and local setting characteristics in a Danish national sample of GPs considering rurality, number of patients listed with the GP, as well as levels of local unemployment, education, income and healthcare expenditure.METHOD: This is a register study on Danish complaint files and administrative register data using multivariate logistic regression.RESULTS: No statistical significant association could be established between litigation figures and rurality, occupation with respect to education, and municipality level of healthcare expenditures. However, larger patient list size was associated with higher rates of malpractice litigation (odds ratio (OR) 1.05 per 100 patients). Litigation was less frequent in settings with higher income patient populations (OR 0.65), although where it did occur the criticism seemed much more likely to be justified (OR 6.03).CONCLUSION: Many GPs face an increasing workload in terms of patient lists. This can cause drawbacks in terms of patient dissatisfaction and malpractice litigation even though local factors such as economic wealth apparently interfere. Further research is needed about the role of geographic variations, workload and socioeconomic inequality in malpractice litigation.",
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General practice location and malpractice litigation. / Birkeland, Søren; Bogh, Søren Bie.

In: Rural and Remote Health, Vol. 19, No. 1, 4663, 02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - General practice location and malpractice litigation

AU - Birkeland, Søren

AU - Bogh, Søren Bie

PY - 2019/2

Y1 - 2019/2

N2 - INTRODUCTION: Healthcare systems in many countries struggle to recruit general practitioners (GPs) for clinics in rural areas leading to less GPs for an increasing number of patients. As a result, fewer resources are available for individual patients, potentially influencing patient satisfaction and the likelihood of malpractice litigation. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between malpractice litigation and local setting characteristics in a Danish national sample of GPs considering rurality, number of patients listed with the GP, as well as levels of local unemployment, education, income and healthcare expenditure.METHOD: This is a register study on Danish complaint files and administrative register data using multivariate logistic regression.RESULTS: No statistical significant association could be established between litigation figures and rurality, occupation with respect to education, and municipality level of healthcare expenditures. However, larger patient list size was associated with higher rates of malpractice litigation (odds ratio (OR) 1.05 per 100 patients). Litigation was less frequent in settings with higher income patient populations (OR 0.65), although where it did occur the criticism seemed much more likely to be justified (OR 6.03).CONCLUSION: Many GPs face an increasing workload in terms of patient lists. This can cause drawbacks in terms of patient dissatisfaction and malpractice litigation even though local factors such as economic wealth apparently interfere. Further research is needed about the role of geographic variations, workload and socioeconomic inequality in malpractice litigation.

AB - INTRODUCTION: Healthcare systems in many countries struggle to recruit general practitioners (GPs) for clinics in rural areas leading to less GPs for an increasing number of patients. As a result, fewer resources are available for individual patients, potentially influencing patient satisfaction and the likelihood of malpractice litigation. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between malpractice litigation and local setting characteristics in a Danish national sample of GPs considering rurality, number of patients listed with the GP, as well as levels of local unemployment, education, income and healthcare expenditure.METHOD: This is a register study on Danish complaint files and administrative register data using multivariate logistic regression.RESULTS: No statistical significant association could be established between litigation figures and rurality, occupation with respect to education, and municipality level of healthcare expenditures. However, larger patient list size was associated with higher rates of malpractice litigation (odds ratio (OR) 1.05 per 100 patients). Litigation was less frequent in settings with higher income patient populations (OR 0.65), although where it did occur the criticism seemed much more likely to be justified (OR 6.03).CONCLUSION: Many GPs face an increasing workload in terms of patient lists. This can cause drawbacks in terms of patient dissatisfaction and malpractice litigation even though local factors such as economic wealth apparently interfere. Further research is needed about the role of geographic variations, workload and socioeconomic inequality in malpractice litigation.

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