Blogging his own malpractice trial

by Walter Olson on June 3, 2009

stethoscopeWhite Coat’s trial is in fact concluded, so he’s not liveblogging it, but recounting it after the fact; posting while the trial was in progress was what got Boston pediatrician “Flea” into so much trouble a couple of years ago after the posts came to the attention of opposing lawyers. [first, second posts] Some reactions: Eric Turkewitz, MedicineThink.

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The Trial Of A WhiteCoat - Part 2 « WhiteCoat’s Call Room
06.04.09 at 6:48 am

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1 Miller 06.03.09 at 2:48 am

This is an incredibly interesting and relevant topic relating to what’s going on today in healthcare reform and the stimulus package. I’m personally semi-vested in WhiteCoat’s trial in so much as I’m a non-practicing MD and one of my best friends is an ER resident in one of NYC’s busiest ERs.

I’ve also done a lot of research at UCSF on health information exchange, aka the $19 billion stimulus package healthcare IT question. It’s encouraging to see so much emphasis on reform in healthcare, but this “overlawyered” concept is one that has deep roots in to the financial and clinical implications of investing in healthcare IT. For example, healthcare IT is seen as a panacea – an opportunity to save tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars in redundant lab tests and hospital admissions. At the surface that seems true.

However, if you’re a doc, and you’ve been sued (or someone you know has been sued), you’re going to cover all the bases (aka CYA), including running new lab tests and (perhaps unnecessarily) admitting patients. Having spent several years researching and consulting in health information exchange I’d be willing to bet that until there is tort and legislative reform in healthcare we will not realize the full financial or clinical benefits of investing in healthcare IT. To me that’s why WhiteCoat’s trial (and all the trials like it) are so important to understand and apply to the current political and healthcare environment.

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