In a recently released five-year study, approximately 80 percent of radiology-related missed diagnosis claims resulted in either permanent injury or death. For the study, approximately 10,000 of an insurance company’s closed claims from the years between 2013 and 2017 were analyzed. These results could be of concern for many Ohio patients.
According to the study, about 15 percent of all malpractice claims involved radiologists. About 80 percent of the claims were a result of a misinterpretation of clinical tests. Furthermore, it was found that certain misdiagnoses were more common than others. For example, misdiagnoses involving cancer were the most common, with breast, pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers also being prevalent. Radiology misdiagnoses can be particularly harmful to patients as they may result in delayed treatment of potentially deadly diseases.
As a result of the study, the insurance company made some recommendations to reduce radiology risks. These recommendations included standardizing treatment protocols, developing templates for reporting and using decision support films. Furthermore, additional recommendations were made for separating incidental findings from the other parts of the imaging report as well as implementing checklists.
When a patient is admitted into an Ohio hospital for diagnosis or treatment, there are certain standards that all health care professionals are required to meet. For example, all physicians must meet the standard of care, which involves taking actions that a competent physician would take under a certain set of circumstances. When physicians do not meet that standard of care and cause serious harm or even death, the injured patient or the family may file a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice injury lawyer may review the circumstances surrounding a severe injury or a death to determine if there is a case. If medical malpractice did occur, the attorney may negotiate a settlement with the liable parties or take the case to court.