Navigation Links
'Misdiagnosis' Leading Cause of U.S. Malpractice Payouts: Study
Date:4/23/2013

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Missed or wrong diagnoses made up the lion's share of U.S. malpractice payouts -- which totaled nearly $39 billion -- during the past 25 years, finds a new study of more than 350,000 claims.

"These are the most common and the most costly of all malpractice claims," said study author Dr. David Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore. "We have to pay attention to this because it is too big of a problem to ignore."

In the new study, researchers analyzed diagnosis-related claims from a national data bank from 1986 to 2010. Of all the claims, diagnostic errors led the pack, accounting for about 35 percent of the total payments of $38.8 billion (after adjusting for inflation). The study only reviewed claims that involved a malpractice payout, not those that did not get this far in the process.

Diagnosis-related errors were the leading cause of claims that were associated with death and disability. Most diagnostic errors occurred in outpatients, but those that occurred while a person was in the hospital were more likely to be fatal, the study showed.

The researchers estimated that the number of misdiagnosis-related claims that cause preventable, permanent damage or death may be as high as 160,000 each year.

The new finding appeared online April 22 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

"We really have to make it a priority to measure and track diagnostic errors on an ongoing basis as we do other mistakes such as infection and wrong-site surgery," Newman-Toker said. "They are completely underrepresented in terms of what we pay attention to."

Errors can happen anywhere along the way. "It can be wrong diagnosis, no diagnosis or delayed diagnosis," he said. "If you get the diagnosis wrong, the chances of getting the therapy right are greatly reduced."

Sometimes, these mistakes can be fatal right off of the bat. "If someone has a headache, and you say 'take two aspirin and call me in the morning,' but the headache is really a brain aneurysm, the patient could die before morning," Newman-Toker added.

Patients are not powerless. "Even great doctors make mistakes," he said. "Ask, 'is there anything else this can be?'" he advised. "If the doctor says 'no' [then] ask 'why?' and an answer such as 'because it's the only thing it could be' is not good enough."

Dr. David Troxel, medical director of The Doctors Company, a malpractice insurer based in Napa, Calif., said the study "provides valuable information to caregivers about medical errors."

"I believe that the disclosure of this information will enhance patient safety," Troxel said. "Patients can also play an important role in reducing the incidence of diagnostic errors by providing their doctor with an accurate medical history, adhering to the prescribed follow-up plan, keeping return visit appointments to discuss abnormal test results and asking questions to clarify instructions they don't clearly understand."

Malpractice attorney Michael Sacopulos, CEO for the Medical Risk Institute in Terre Haute, Ind., said he was surprised by the extent of the new findings. "Maybe things get off course right at the beginning, but this has not been studied as much as other errors that result in malpractice suits," he said.

Still "medicine is an art and not a science so this will happen," Sacopulos said. "Patients need to be persistent with physicians because so often the doctor will make a diagnosis and over time, it becomes clear that it was wrong. The first attempt may not be accurate. Think of it as a work in progress instead of being written in stone."

More information

Learn more about patient safety at the National Patient Safety Foundation.

SOURCES: David Newman-Toker, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; David Troxel, M.D., medical director, The Doctors Company, Napa, Calif.; Michael Sacopulos, chief executive, Medical Risk Institute, Terre Haute, Ind.; April 22, 2013, BMJ Quality & Safety, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. OHSU study: Misdiagnosis of MS is costing health system millions per year
2. Illustration Source, a Leading Provider of High-quality Conceptual Illustrations to Art Buyers Everywhere, Congratulates Illustrator Todd Davidson, Chosen for the Juried and Highly Selective American Illustration (AI) Website Archive
3. Leading Security System Providers in the State of Indiana Published by 6Webs.com
4. 2013 Leading Security System Providers in the State of Arkansas Published by SecurityPlanet.com
5. Ayurveda Training Online Offered by Escuela de Ayurveda de California, a Leading Institution in the West
6. New Web Services Feature in Corepoint Integration Engine Simplifies Health Information Exchange For Leading Providers
7. YourPleasurableSecrets.com, a leading retailer of Pipedream Products, Adult Toys and Adult Novelties, is replenishing their lineup of adult movies starring Asia Carrera.
8. Getting One's Nose Done Without the "Done" Look – Leading Cosmetic Surgeon Launches Premier Website, Offering Answers to Rhinoplasty’s Greatest Riddle
9. Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen of the Vein Healthcare Center invited to participate in Sedona Days with other leading venous experts from around the world
10. TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare help test cancer drug in clinical trial leading to FDA approval
11. YourPleasurableSecrets.com, a leading retailer of Pipedream Products, Adult Toys & Novelties, is replenishing their lineup of adult movies Kay Parker has starred in.
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Misdiagnosis' Leading Cause of U.S. Malpractice Payouts: Study
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... , the only authorized OSHA Training Institute Education Center headquartered in Northern California, ... their workers from extreme heat at their worksites. Employers with workers exposed ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can ... inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of their ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... TherapySites, the leading website and online ... Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue to extend their ... benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about this new partnership, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... pioneer in the patient payment industry today announced its strategic partnership with ... health system workflows. , The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... is using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for ... Many are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, ... -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform ... developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL ... can get any needed testing done in the comfort of her ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription ... are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: