In most cases, a diagnostic error can be traced to a failure in assessing the patient, according to the results of CRICO Strategies’ 2014 annual benchmarking report Malpractice Risks in the Diagnostic Process.
The report from the Cambridge, MA-based insurer is the product of analyzing more than 4,700 cases filed from 2008 to 2012 alleging malpractice that put patients at risk of a missed or significantly delayed diagnosis. While the majority (58 percent) of these cases highlight assessment failures, the analysis explores the entire diagnostic process to help identify where breakdowns most commonly occur.
Another 29 percent of the cases were traced to faults in testing and results processing. 46 percent were related to follow-up and coordination of care.
“Relatively scant attention has been paid to errors during the diagnostic process which, according to the data from the Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS), are more common than obstetrical errors, and more costly than surgical cases,” Crico President Mark E. Reynolds said in a statement accompanying the report. “This analysis opens our eyes to where and when diagnosis-related errors most commonly occur, and furthers discussion about the changes necessary to prevent them.”
The full report is available online at http://tinyurl.com/odtsqxu.