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Patient Tracking Database Closed

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DALLAS, Mar 11, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A controversial internet database that tracked litigious patients and plaintiffs' lawyers has been shut down.

It was known as DoctorsKnow.Us and it ignited a firestorm of criticism because, potentially, it could be used against patients who had sued doctors in the past. It cost $4.95 a month for access, had about 50 members and fewer than 100,000 patient names, the Wall Street Journal said.

John Shannon Jones, the database's creator and a Dallas-area radiologist, closed the site voluntarily in the wake of mounting controversy.

The database, launched in November, was a response to the increasingly hostile malpractice environment. Doctors say they are being hit by frivolous lawsuits, which have resulted in higher malpractice-insurance premiums and in some doctors abandoning high-risk procedures and specialties, such as neurosurgery and obstetrics.

The database was put together through public records. In most cases, it did not indicate the outcome of a suit or whether the suit had merit or was deemed frivolous.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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