Misdiagnosis the reason behind most malpractice claims

Ohio residents should know that diagnostic errors may be the third leading cause of death among hospitalized patients (as per the National Academy of Medicine in 2015). Now, two separate reports show that misdiagnosis is the source of most medical malpractice claims involving both inpatient and outpatient care.

The first report is from Coverys, the medical malpractice insurer in Boston. After analyzing 1,800 closed claims against physicians from 2013 to 2017, researchers found that 46 percent involved misdiagnoses. These diagnosis-related claims accounted for 68 percent of all paid indemnity costs. Forty-five percent of the patients in these cases died.

The Doctors Company, another malpractice insurer, made its report after reviewing 1,215 claims closed between 2008 and 2017. It found that 38 percent of pediatric claims involved a misdiagnosis and that the misdiagnoses were largely the result of inadequate patient assessments. The fault lay largely with primary care providers who, for example, would fail to capture a complete family history or perform a complete physical exam.

Primary care providers are in charge of not only the patient assessments but also the selection of treatment or therapy and the monitoring of any high-risk medications that patients take. The second most common allegations in diagnosis-related claims were connected to the ordering of diagnostic tests. After that were allegations concerning referrals and follow-ups.

A misdiagnosis can result in unnecessary treatments and, with it, mounting medical expenses. Patients may meanwhile suffer from a worsening of their actual condition, which cannot be reversed but could have been avoided. If doctor negligence was involved, then victims may want to see Columbus, Ohio, medical malpractice injury lawyers about filing a claim. A lawyer may request an inquiry with the local medical board and hire third parties to conduct their own investigation. With a lawyer negotiating on their behalf, victims may achieve a settlement.

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