Medical malpractice lawyers at Messa & Associates recently read an article published by the Wall Street Journal entitled “What the Doctor Missed: Using Malpractice Claims to Help Physicians Avoid Diagnostic Mistakes, Delays” explains that doctors are now studying medical malpractice committed by other physicians in order to avoid making those mistakes within their own practice. The article states:
“Diagnostic errors are the leading cause of malpractice suits, accounting for as many as 40% of cases and costing insurers an average of $300,000 per case to settle, studies of resolved claims show. Peter Pronovost, a patient-safety researcher at Johns Hopkins University, estimates that diagnostic errors kill 40,000 to 80,000 hospitalized patients annually, based on autopsy studies over the past four decades.”
Doctors have been researching and analyzing the events that lead to these missed or delayed diagnoses. Some doctors are utilizing electronic alerts and reminders to order tests, follow up on lab results, and contact specialists to whom they’ve referred patients.
Dr. Pronovost found that in order to really address the issue of diagnostic errors, health-care providers will have to look at bigger problems surrounding diagnostics, i.e. lost lab results or mis-reading the severity of symptoms.
Diagnostic errors accounted for 26% of CRICO/RMF’s (one of many medical malpractice insurance companies) 1,137 malpractice cases between 2005 and 2009. Of the 495 “high severity” cases, nearly half dealt with diagnostic errors. CRICO is using the data to it’s adavantage, and the advantage of patients everywhere. It is offering continuing education credits to doctors who study CRICO’s analysis of closed malpractice cases.
They are also co-sponsering a program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, working with 16 primary-care practices, using lessons learned from previous errors to help other doctors avoid those same errors in the future.
Medical Malpractice claims are helping doctors become better practitioners. By learning from others’ mistakes, they are able to change the ways they practice medicine, in order to avoid the same, sometimes very simple, errors that can cause irreversible damage to patients.
So many people who advocate for tort-reform say that medical malpractice lawsuits are only hurting doctors, and that settlements are outrageous and unneccesary.This article proves otherwise.
Without these cases, doctors would never be punished for their negligence, and their peers would continue making the same mistakes.
If you or a loved one have suffered due to the malpractice of a negligent doctor, contact the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyerss of Messa & Associates, P.C. Our experienced and dedicated lawyers will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact Messa & Associates for a free case evaluation by calling, toll-free, 1-877-MessaLaw or by submitting a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More