Archive for the ‘diagnostic error’ tag

The Difference between Medical Error and Inherent Risk

November 11th, 2014 at 7:00 am

adverse events, Connecticut malpractice attorney, Connecticut medial malpractice, diagnostic error, hospital conditions, hospital negligence, inherent risk, medical error and inherent risk, medical malpractice attorney, medical negligence, medical procedures, medical side effects, Westport medical malpractice attorneyAll medical procedures have some degree of inherent risk. When things go wrong, it is not always the fault of the medial professional who is handling the situation. Sometimes an amalgamation of unforeseen events causes a patient to suffer unexpected consequences. These are what are known as adverse events. According to a paper from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is a big difference between such adverse events and negligence. Negligence implies that the less-than-great consequences of the medical procedure are the fault of the medical professional. Additionally, thousands of errors are made every year “resulting in injuries to patients who many deserve compensation.” Yet it can be challenging to determine what constitutes medical error and what is resultant from the standard risk inherent to medical procedures.

According to the NIH, a Harvard Public Health study found that roughly 27 percent of adverse effects from medical procedures occur because of negligence on the part of a medical professional. “Medicine is not an exact science,” the NIH states, “and complications are an inherent feature of any procedure or medical intervention.” Surgeries, across the board, typically carry a 3 to 4 percent risk of infection. While sterilizing equipment and ensuring that all professionals are held to the highest standard of cleanliness can help mitigate the risk of infection from unsterile objects during surgery, there is still this risk during a surgical procedure.

Another important distinction to make when determining medical negligence or error is that between system errors and negligence. A doctor is negligent, for example, if the patient is suffering kidney failure, needs dialysis, and the doctor fails to put the patient on dialysis. However, say the doctor does order dialysis but a nurse misunderstands and the patient does not receive dialysis. This is simple human error. A 1999 paper from the Institute of Medicine, “To Err is Human,” states that “most medical errors are the result of unavoidable human error, which can only be reduced through system changes.”

If you suspect that you have been the victim of medical error, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today.

How Safe Are Electronic Medical Records?

November 6th, 2014 at 7:00 am

electronic medical records, Westport medical malpractice attorney, medical mistakes, preventable errors, medication errors, incorrect billing, permanent disabilities, diagnostic errorGone are the days when you would go to the doctors and medical personal would write notes into your chart, which was usually a large manila folder with pages and pages of notes and test results. Today when you visit your doctor, there is typically a laptop or some kind of computer in the examining room where a nurse or doctor will enter in the same information that used to be written by hand. This system is supposed to be safer and more efficient. However, many in the medical field are beginning to question the safety of this system.

Electronic medical records (EMR) are supposed to provide a centralized location for all of a patient’s information and medical history, enabling all of the medical professionals who may be treating the patient to access the information quickly and easily. However, several recent studies have concluded that these records may be causing more harm to the patient than good.

One of the biggest issues uncovered is that doctors are spending so much time filling out the required areas of the online forms and studying the information that the quality and quantity of time actually spent on the patient is suffering. One study determined that doctors are now spending one-third of the time looking at the computer screen and reading the information online. Previously, doctors used to spend about 9 percent of their time with a patient and reading his or her medical chart, with the rest of the time engaging with the patient.

Another study revealed that the average time a doctor now spends talking to a patient is only eight minutes, because they are spending the rest of the time with the patient filling out the online forms. This is also causing physicians to “cut corners” and rushing through patient interviews, often omitting important questions.

Other studies have found that EMRs may lead to preventable errors, such as medication errors, as well as a decrease in the efficiency of the medical staff and facility. There is also a higher risk of incorrect billing to insurance companies, which can drive up healthcare cost.

If you have suffered permanent disabilities or illness due to a diagnostic error, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal options.

Diagnostic Error: Number One Reason for Medical Malpractice Claims

October 20th, 2014 at 7:00 am

diagnostic error, misdiagnosis, permanent disabilities, Westport medical malpractice attorney, malpractice claimsA study conducted by researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine reveals that the most dangerous and costly mistakes made by doctors are diagnostic errors. According to the study, more than 160,000 people die in the United States each year because of physician misdiagnosis.

A diagnostic error can hamper the treatment of a patient’s condition and can cause serious injury or even death.

The research team examined more than 350,000 paid-out malpractice claims which had occurred between 1986 through 2010. They obtained the information from the National Practitioner Data Bank. The majority of the claims paid outX—28.6 percent—were due to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose on the part of physicians. These claims typically resulted in extreme harm to the patient.

These claims were also the highest paid out claims and accounted for 35 percent of the total amount of medical malpractice claims paid. The payout of diagnostic error claims totaled almost $40 billion.

There were 69 percent of outpatient diagnostic error claims and 31 inpatient claims. There were more deaths that occurred for the inpatient claims.

The majority of diagnostic errors analyzed in the study were classified as failed diagnosis, with misdiagnosis errors coming in second. Errors involving neurological diagnosis were the most common.

The head of the research team, Dr. David E. Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University, estimates that diagnostic errors occur in almost 15 percent of patients on their initial visit to a doctor for a new medical issue.

Dr. Newman-Toker said of his team’s findings, “Overall, diagnostic errors have been under appreciated and under-recognized because they’re difficult to measure and keep track of owing to the frequent gap between the time the error occurs and when it’s detected. These are frequent problems that have played second fiddle to medical and surgical errors, which are evident more immediately.”

If you have suffered permanent disabilities or illness due to a diagnostic error, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal options.

American Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association


Contact Westport Divorce Attorney


Disclaimer | Site Map | Privacy Policy

OVC Lawyer Marketing, Inc.