Malpractice Outside the Hospital Is On The Rise

Recently the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) issued a report analyzing paid malpractice claims in the hospital setting and in the outpatient setting.  http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/23/2427.short.  The data came from the National Practitioner Data Bank, to which all malpractice payments must be reported.  Not surprisingly, as more and more medical procedures are performed outside the hospital setting, more malpractice is occurring outside the hospital.  According to the study, about 47% of paid claims arise in the hospital setting with outpatient claims now having grown to approximately 43%.

In doctor’s offices, the leading cause of paid claims was diagnostic errors while in the hospital setting the leading cause was surgical errors.  Many patients were badly injured as a result of the outpatient mistakes.  Approximately 70% of the paid outpatient claims involved serious injury or death.

Here is a link to a good discussion of the JAMA report:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/744599

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