To make quality assurance more outcome oriented, the department of psychiatry in a university hospital developed a program of psychiatric mortality and morbidity conferences for reviewing cases with undesirable outcomes. The conference combines aspects of a traditional medical mortality and morbidity conference with features of utilization review and risk management. Case review is focused on mortality, morbidity, or specific indicators developed by the departmental services involved and on a determination of whether an adverse outcome was avoidable, possibly avoidable, or unavoidable. The authors summarize the 100 cases reviewed in the first seven months. They believe the focus on outcome gives the method a useful role in quality assurance; advantages include its recognizable contributions to continuing education and training.