Malpractice Info Missing from Online Doctor Profiles

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The state Public Health Department's online doctor database frequently omits information about past malpractice payments, making it difficult for patients to make informed decisions.

There are more than 100 doctor on the site whose malpractice cases are missing, the Hartford Courant reports.

That's equal to about one out of every six who have made payments in recent years for harming or killing patients yet appear to have clean records.

A department spokesman told the Courant it appears that the malpractice information was omitted when the physician profiles were moved to a new site he said the agency is updating.

"It is anticipated that the site will be fully functional by early April, 2010," a note on the physician profile site said, according to the Courant, but then the date was pushed back severeal times. Now, the department offers no estimate for when the site will return.

Jean Rexford, executive director of the nonprofit Connecticut Center for Patient Safety, said incomplete information on malpractice payments prevents patients from making informed medical care choices.

You can access the link to doctor profiles here.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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