Diagnostic Errors Largest Source of Medical Malpractice Claims

Cancer Misdiagnosis, Medical Malpractice Mistakes, Misdiagnosis

According to a recent report by the malpractice services provide Coverys, 33% of all medical malpractice claims in the United States were related to diagnostic errors.  Specifically, the errors related to patient diagnosis mistakes.  Approximately half of those claims related to poor clinical decisions.  The second most likely claim was a surgical or procedural error with 24% of all claims accounting for those errors.  Another 15% of medical malpractice claims were from medical management.  The span of the study was from 2013 to 2017.

When it comes to diagnostic error claims, approximately 36% or almost one-third of all patients had died.  Another 36% were caused in outpatient settings as opposed to inpatient admissions.

Of these claims, one-third of the diagnostic error cases were simply because the healthcare provider did not appropriately evaluate the patient.  This includes not getting a family history.  That is, just a family history—talking—communication with the patient!  This is a horrible reason for medical malpractice to occur.  The study found that another 52% of the diagnostic error cases involved errors related to lab testing.  The remaining 15% included an assortment of claims.

Of all these claims, the radiologists were a party 14% of the time.  Usually the radiologist is behind the scenes and not necessarily involved with the patient’s care and treatment directly.  Nonetheless, errors by radiologists took up a considerable amount of the claims.

Aren’t these some horrible reasons for medical malpractice claims?  Shouldn’t diagnostics errors like these simply NOT occur?

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.