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Many Medical Malpractice Claims Involve Radiology Errors

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When you think of medical malpractice, what type of issues immediately pop into your head? perhaps you think of surgical errors or negligence issues, such as failure to diagnose or not properly monitoring a woman during labor and childbirth. While these are common medical issues, many people overlook the significance of radiology errors.

Radiologists account for 15 percent of medical malpractice claims involving diagnosis errors. This may not seem like a significant number, but it is when you consider that radiology errors rank second only to claims by general medicine physicians.

Between 2013 and 2017, there were 595 claims against radiologists, according to medical professional liability insurer, Coverys, which recently published an analysis of closed medical malpractice claims. While you may not believe that a medical professional who takes images of the human body could cause significant patient harm, think again. Many radiology errors involve incorrect or delayed diagnoses, which makes a patient’s medical condition even worse. This can lead to disability, permanent injuries, advanced cancer and even death.

A majority of the missed diagnoses–80 percent–involving radiologists were caused by misinterpretation of test results. Most of the missed diagnoses involved cancer, particularly cancer of the breasts, ovaries, lungs and pancreas. Given that the tests come out normal, no further medical care is often taken. When patients do not follow up on abnormal test results, it causes high levels of patient harm.

A missed diagnosis can be serious–even deadly. In more than 80 percent of cases, these missed diagnoses led to permanent injuries and even fatalities.

Risk Management in the Radiology Field

Due to this huge amount of errors, a series of steps are recommended to manage this risk and keep patients safe. For example, it may be helpful to develop criteria outlining when it would be necessary to get a second read of the film. Using clear language that avoids common medical terminology like “consistent with” or “cannot rule out” can also help prevent ambiguity. Checklists are also a helpful tool so that radiologists do not have to rely on memory.

Since technology tends to change frequently, it is important to update standards as needed. Frequent reviews are also a good idea. This would allow radiology departments to review clinical outcomes and compare them to the quality indicators to see if any errors are present.

Seek Help for Your Medical Malpractice Case

Radiology errors are not the only mistakes made in the medical industry. Surgical errors, negligence, childbirth issues and prescription drug errors are also common. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to medical malpractice, it’s crucial that you seek legal help right away.

Medical malpractice can lead to medical bills, disability, disfigurement, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Make sure you receive the compensation you deserve by contacting the knowledgeable Dade City medical malpractice attorneys at Mander Law Group. We can help you build a strong case so you get a favorable outcome. Schedule a consultation today by calling (800) 557-0411.

Resource:

businessinsurance.com/article/20180814/NEWS06/912323333/Radiology-errors-a-top-driver-of-medical-malpractice-claims-Coverys-report

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