Patient complaints and malpractice risk.
This study examines the association between physicians’ patient complaint records and their risk management and malpractice experiences. A retrospective review of 645 physicians in a large U.S. medical group was performed. Both patient complaints and risk management events were higher for surgeons than nonsurgeons. Both complaint and risk management data were positively correlated with clinical volume. Risk management file openings, openings with expenditures, and lawsuits were significantly related to total numbers of patient complaints.