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Loss control/risk management. A survey of the contribution of autopsy examination

M J Valaske
Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 1984, 108 (6): 462-8
I surveyed 183 hospitals with medical school pathology residency affiliations regarding their recognition and use of the autopsy in loss control/risk management. Thirty physician-owned, medical society-created professional liability companies and nine other malpractice liability underwriters were also surveyed. The results generally supported my bias for increased use of autopsy information in the field of hospital-risk management. I also examined an opposing minority view. Autopsy surgeons' and hospital administrators' responses supported increased use of autopsies in loss control activities for the following reasons: to eliminate suspicion, to provide reassurance to families, to substitute facts for conjecture, to construct a better defense, to reduce the number of claims, and to improve the quality of care.

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