Errors related to diagnosis were the largest source of medical malpractice claims from 2013 to 2017, according to a new study, highlighting the challenges physicians face to make appropriate clinical decisions. The report, published by malpractice services provider Coverys, found 33% of medical malpractice claims were related to errors made during patient diagnosis and more than half of those claims involved poor clinical decisions. Diagnosis-related claims beat out all other reasons for malpractice lawsuits. Surgical or procedural claims were the second most common reason for a malpractice claim, at 24%, while medical management claims came in third at 14%.
While many drivers of medical malpractice claims have seen decreases over the years, diagnosis-related claims have not, said an author of the report who is also vice president of business analytics at Coverys. The malpractice services provider reviewed 10,618 medical malpractice claims from 2013 to 2017. About 36% of the diagnosis-related claims involved the death of the patient. Additionally, 36% occurred in outpatient settings. The analysis highlighted several times, in particular, in the diagnostic process when physicians are most vulnerable to making mistakes. About 33% of diagnosis-related suits occurred because the doctors failed to appropriately evaluate the patient, including getting an appropriate family history. Roughly 52% of claims involved errors related to lab testing. Doctors either chose the wrong test, improperly performed the test or misinterpreted the results.
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries from a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis, please contact the Law Offices of Gilbert R. Hoy, Jr. and Affiliates by phone at 617-787-3700, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; our team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience fighting for our Massachusetts clients. We are here 24/7 for you to learn more about your options for bringing a claim or filing a lawsuit in a free and confidential consultation, so call today! Your needs are our top priority!