The Doctors Company analyzed 1,895 claims against orthopedists that closed from 2007–2014. The study found that the top patient allegation—accounting for 46 percent of claims—was improper performance of surgery, but in almost a third of the cases, patients were not in compliance with their treatment plan. The study also showed that the top factor contributing to patient injury, as determined by a panel of experts, was technical performance. However, reviewers found in most of these cases, the claims were related to known risks disclosed to the patient prior to the procedure. We hope that the information presented here prompts physicians to open a discussion in their practice or organization. Access additional resources to help reduce the risks identified in the study.
The guidelines suggested here are not rules, do not constitute legal advice,
and do not ensure a successful outcome. The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness
of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider in light of all circumstances
prevailing in the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction
in which the care is rendered.
Closed Claims Studies
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