The Doctors Company’s new study of 1,180 malpractice claims made between 2007 and 2014 found that 39 percent of claims were for incorrect, delayed or failed diagnosis. Of those claims, 56 percent involved inadequate patient assessment or a failure or delay in ordering diagnostic testing.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of misdiagnosis, you may have legal options. Contact a medical malpractice injury lawyer from O’Connor, Acciani & Levy for more information.
Researchers also found that over one-third of claims involved situations where the patient was staying in a hospital. The most common type of doctor involved was an internal medicine specialist.
For the study, The Doctors Company partnered with practicing physicians to determine the most common factors that resulted in patient injury, including:
- Patient factors such as noncompliance with treatment plans.
- Communication breakdowns between the patient or the patient’s family and the healthcare provider.
It is important to note that the average physician will diagnose roughly 400 different diseases each year, according to internal medicine physician Howard R. Marcus.
He or she will only occasionally encounter a rare condition that they have never seen before and a failure to diagnose may occur. However, the failed diagnosis is typically the result of a simple error rather than a lack of knowledge on the doctor’s part, says Marcus.
He will use studies like this one to help develop continuing medical education for his medical group to help prevent patient injuries.
However, even with a significant overhaul of medical training, medical malpractice claims based on errors and misdiagnosis will likely continue.
Misdiagnosis can be deadly because it may mean that doctors are treating you for a condition that you do not have or they are not treating you at all. Misdiagnosis can also lead to non-fatal, long-term health problems. If you are a victim of malpractice, our personal injury attorneys are ready to help review the merits of your incident. Call (877) 288-3241 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.