MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUITS ARE GOOD FOR THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY

Okay..all my healthcare provider friends can shoot me their nasty emails over the title to today’s post but their “snarky remarks” aside, I stand by the title.

Where would I get such a crazy idea? How about from the one of the most pro-business, conservative newspapers in the United States….The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The WSJ recently ran an article titled, “What The Doctor Missed.” The article tells how diagnostic errors are the leading cause of malpractice suits, accounting for as many as 40% of cases and costing insurers an average of $300,000 per case to settle, studies of resolved claims show. Peter Pronovost, a patient-safety researcher at Johns Hopkins University, estimates that diagnostic errors kill 40,000 to 80,000 hospitalized patients annually, based on autopsy studies over the past four decades.

The article describes how medical professionals, and their liability insurance carriers, are finding lessons in these malpractice cases. By analyzing the breakdowns in care that led to missed, delayed or incorrect diagnoses, insurers and health-care providers are developing programs to avert mistakes. For example, some doctors are using electronic alerts and reminders to order tests, follow up on lab reports and close the loop with specialists to whom they refer patients. We see these errors every week in the medical records of our clients.

I encourage all to read the article and would like to hear your responses right here on our blog.

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.