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Letters
October 10, 2001

Use of Prognostic Indexes for Determining Malpractice Liability—Reply

Author Affiliations
 

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(14):1712-1713. doi:10.1001/jama.286.14.1709

In Reply: While we envision our prognostic index to be used primarily for clinical purposes to improve patient care, we agree with Dr Smith that our index could possibly be used to assess prognosis in medical-legal cases. In addition, with further study our index may possibly be used to correct for baseline risk differences among patients to make inferences from mortality data about the quality of care provided by different institutions following hospitalization. However, for individual cases, a prognostic index cannot be used to assess quality of care or used alone to determine whether a death was the result of poor quality care or the result of underlying disease processes.

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