Physician Mistakes that Lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that physician errors are a factor in about 60% of medical malpractice claims. Conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts who reviewed 307 claims from four large malpractice insurers (closed between 1984 and 2004). Of those claims, 181 involved alleged diagnostic errors that injured patients. Most common physician mistakes leading to med mal claims:

  • failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests;

  • failure to establish an appropriate plan for follow-up care;

  • failure to obtain adequate patient history or perform additional test;

  • improper interpretation of diagnostic results.

Results of the claims were not considered for the study. Source: Daily Health Policy Report on kaisernetwork.org.

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