Martin Levine, D.O., is about to launch a study, backed by the American Osteopathic Association, aimed at reducing medical errors by office-based practitioners.
Levine, of Jersey City, N.J., is chairman of the AOA's Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Effectiveness and Research, which will seek to identify common office-based errors and develop strategies to help prevent them.
The group first met Sept. 7 and plans to start sending members advisories about office-based mistakes in as little as one and a half years.
Levine says the study initially will examine malpractice insurers' data on clinical errors, which several nationwide carriers have offered the bureau, but he concedes the data has flaws.
"If you use the insurance information, you cannot definitely say the doctor failed to do something, because maybe the patient got work done at her OB/GYN or maybe she got an exam or shot at work," he says.
Later in the bureau's study process, Levine says he would like AOA officials to enter volunteer doctors' offices to examine charts and study workflow.
"Collecting the data will be a challenge," Levine says. "You have to go out and look at doctors and assess them in a way that would not offend them." The bureau also plans to set up a Web site for doctors to submit information on errors.