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“We assume we’re right when we make a diagnosis unless we hear otherwise, then we keep making the same mistakes over and over again”

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Malpractice Risks in the Diagnostic Process

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Malpractice Risks in the Diagnostic Process

By Jock Hoffman, CRICO

Related to: Diagnosis, Primary Care, Other Specialties

Allegations of diagnostic errors lead to 20 percent of all medical malpractice claims and lawsuits. More than half of those (57%) stem from ambulatory care. The average payment for such cases (closed from 2008-2012) was $442,000.

Based on more than 2,600 cases from CRICO Strategies’ national Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS), the 2014 Annual Benchmarking Report: Malpractice Risks in the Diagnostic Process  is a thorough exploration of diagnosis-related cases stemming from care in an ambulatory setting. This in-depth study provides unique insight into where, when, and how things can go wrong for patients and providers trying to make an accurate and timely diagnosis.

To enhance the analysis, CRICO mapped the underlying issues (i.e., the contributing factors) against 12 steps that define the Diagnostic Process of Care. This serves as the framework for the 2014 Report, with detailed attention given to three broad areas of diagnostic risk:

threephaseCBSlinks

Most notably, our analysis pinpoints where in the clinician’s thought process—or where in a practice’s communication and data management systems—mistakes are most likely to occur.

Data point about atypical presentations

In conjunction with the malpractice data analysis, CRICO spoke with several members of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and have included their insights alongside the data displays and case examples.

Through its Annual Benchmarking Report, CRICO Strategies strives to use the power of its robust CBS database to raise awareness and spur on efforts to improve patient safety. The goal for the 2014 report is to accelerates the development and adoption of a broad set of effective solutions to the cognitive and systemic problems that can impede prompt and accurate diagnoses.

Additional Material

Preview the assessment pages of the report Preview the testing and results processing report information Preview the follow up and coordination of care information

December 18, 2014
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