Diagnostic-related issues are the main reason emergency medicine doctors are sued and the top cause of patient injury, according to The Doctors Company’s study of 332 emergency medicine claims that closed from 2007-2013. The study showed that 57 percent of claims alleged failure to diagnose, delay in diagnosis, or wrong diagnosis. In 52 percent of claims, patient assessment issues, like failure to establish a differential diagnosis, contributed to patient injury.
The top patient allegation and the top contributing factor to patient injury highlight the importance of addressing diagnosis issues in the practice of emergency medicine.
The practice of emergency medicine has underlying vulnerabilities that can put patients at risk of injury and can increase liability for doctors. Watch the video to see the key highlights of the study’s findings, and download the infographic for information on the most common patient safety risks.
Adverse outcomes sometimes do occur even when physicians follow the standard of care and do all they can for patients. In this video, Malkeet Gupta, MD, MS, an emergency medicine physician, speaks about how being sued for malpractice affected him, and how he worked to win his case.
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 considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.