Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice Claims

According to a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins, diagnostic errors accounted for one-third of malpractice claims. The Johns Hopkins study, which covered a span of 25 years and 350,000 medical malpractice claims, noted that errors in diagnosis were preventable medical errors that are difficult to track and quantify. “This is more evidence that diagnostic errors could easily be the biggest patient safety and medical malpractice problem in the United States,” lead researcher David Newman-Toker said in a statement. “These are frequent problems that have played second fiddle to medical and surgical errors, which are evident more immediately.” Misdiagnoses, in contrast, are “difficult to measure and keep track of.” There’s often a time gap between the doctor’s mistake and the patient’s turn-for-the-worse, which can make it hard to trace the cause.