Misdiagnosis Is the Most Common Medical Malpractice Issue, New Study Finds
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Sep 26, 2016 in Medical Malpractice
A new study conducted by The Doctors Company found that misdiagnosis is the most common allegation in medical malpractice claims. Incorrect, failed or delayed diagnosis claims accounted for 39 percent of the 1,180 malpractice claims reviewed for the study.
The Doctors Company, a physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, studied malpractice claims closed from 2007 to 2014.
Researchers found that in over 50 percent of misdiagnosis claims, plaintiffs allege that inadequate assessments were performed by medical professionals and that diagnostic testing was either delayed or not conducted.
Other claims involve providers who performed inadequate physical exams, as well as those who failed to address abnormal test results.
Patients who filed the claims evaluated by researchers suffered from a range of illnesses, including myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
The study uncovered that:
- Over one-third of injuries that led to a malpractice claim happened in a hospital.
- Nearly 60 percent of malpractice claims made against internal medicine professionals concerned severe injuries.
- More than one-third of all malpractice claims against doctors concerned severe injuries.
Misdiagnosis is a Danger
Misdiagnosis poses a real danger to a patient, as the diagnosis is typically made to guide initial and ongoing treatment. Failing to properly diagnose an illness can cause harm resulting from lack of treatment and receiving incorrect treatments.
While there are many reasons why a doctor or other medical professional could misdiagnose an illness, researchers hope that the study’s data will encourage medical professionals to pinpoint weaknesses within patient treatment systems, therefore reducing harm and improving patient care.
If a negligent medical professional has caused you harm, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The medical malpractice attorneys at Phillips Law Group will fight to maximize compensation for your claim.