A recent article published by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) notes that one-third of medical malpractice cases with serious injuries (including death) allege diagnostic errors.

In particular, missed or delayed diagnosis of vascular events, infections, and cancers are the most common. The SIDM article is based on analyses of medical professional liability (MPL) cases in CRICO’s Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS) database.

For individual clinicians, being named in an MPL case remains a relatively rare event (fewer than 4 of 100 physicians per year). One way clinicians can better understand how breakdowns in the diagnostic process can lead to allegations of malpractice—and what opportunities they might have to improve patient safety in their practice setting—is by reading or listening to case studies from that same CBS database.

A selection of cases is listed below, which includes specific recommendations for patient safety improvement that align with the key areas of vulnerability outlined in the SIDM article.

Of course, two-thirds of serious injury MPL cases stem from other aspects of care. The CRICO library of case studies covers many of those areas as well.

For audio case studies, CRICO has an on-going podcast, “MedMal Insider,” and CME Podcast Bundles, which are prepackaged sets of content for which you may earn 0.5 Risk Management Category 1 Study in Massachusetts.

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