Study Reveals 1/3 of Medical Malpractice Claims Involve Diagnostic Errors

It is not uncommon for medical professionals to make errors. As the following article demonstrates, it is comparatively too common for medical professionals to make diagnostic errors, which include the failure to diagnose an illness or condition, as well as the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of an illness or condition.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a medical error, you probably have an endless list of questions for which you need answers. James F. Mundy, Esq., leads a team of experienced Powell Law attorneys who have the expertise based on decades of experience to patiently answer your questions.

A recent research study conducted at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that over a ten-year period, approximately 34% of medical malpractice claims that resulted in permanent injury or death were caused by diagnostic errors. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine funded the study. The organization is a non-profit focused on the prevention of diagnostic errors.

The science of the prevention of diagnostic errors is still in early development with scant research and no establishment of optimal practices. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine is a coalition of more than 50 healthcare organizations attempting to develop and establish standardized practices.

“It’s not just inconvenient to have a wrong or delayed diagnosis. For many patients, misdiagnosis causes severe harm and expense, and in the worst cases, death,” said Dr. David Newman-Toker, lead author of the study and director of the Center for Diagnostic Excellence at Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

From 2006 to 2015, 21,743 closed malpractice claims caused severe injury. Of these serious cases, 7,379 were caused by diagnostic errors. Also, 21% of all malpractice claims during this same time-period resulted from diagnostic errors.

According to the study, a substantial percentage of the diagnostic errors resulted from mistakes in clinical judgment, but Paul Epner, CEO and co-founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine said blaming doctors isn’t the best solution:

“The best solution to (preventing diagnostic errors) is redesigning the system because to err is human,” he said.

In next week’s blogs, we’ll discuss the rights of nursing home residents. With the increasing number of people living in assisted-living facilities, nursing home abuse and neglect are also on the rise. If you have a family member or friend who lives in a nursing home, you must always maintain a watchful, vigilant eye for actions that violate the rights of residents.

Powell Law’s attorneys have the necessary expertise and experience to evaluate a potential medical malpractice claim. At Powell Law, it is our goal to protect and assert the rights of our clients effectively. If you have suffered a work-related injury, consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Powell Law has an established 113-year-old reputation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE, and you don’t pay unless we win!

Study Reveals 1/3 of Medical Malpractice Claims Involve Diagnosis Errors

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