A recent study shows that from 2013-2017 errors related to diagnosis were the largest source of medical malpractice claims.
“The report, published by malpractice services provider Coverys, found 33% of malpractice claims were related to errors made during patient diagnosis and more than half of those claims involved poor clinical decisions. Diagnosis-related claims beat out all other reasons for malpractice lawsuits.”-Modern HealthCare
The report identified periods of the diagnostic process where physicians are especially vulnerable to making mistakes. The majority of medical malpractice claims involved errors related to lab testing, followed by doctors failing to properly evaluate a patient.
According to patient safety experts, medical error is the third leading cause of death each year in the U.S. Each year more than 250,000 people die due to medical error. Because so many of these fatalities are preventable, it is tremendously important for patients to advocate for themselves. Patients shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions, and seek second opinions if necessary.