You Will Not Believe the 2 Most Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice Suits

Every day, you hear of major medical malpractice lawsuits being brought against doctors and healthcare facilities of all types, but you would really be surprised if you just knew what the two most common reasons for those suits are. Most people believe that it’s because the doctor slipped up during surgery or a patient was given the wrong medication, yet while those are common reasons they aren’t the top two. Can you guess what they are?

An Infographic Summary of Seven Reasons Doctors Are Sued

The findings of a study conducted by Medscape were compiled on an infographic and published on Becker’s Hospital Review in January of 2016. In this report, Medscape sought to poll primary care and specialist physicians around the nation to get their input on what these doctors see as the most common reasons for medical malpractice suits. Of the seven reasons listed, there are two that hospital administrators should take note of. These two account for 62% of what respondents felt was a leading cause and, oddly, this is not what the general public would believe is a leading reason for malpractice lawsuits.

As a professional with a masters in healthcare management, it is to your advantage to take a good look at why patients are bringing medical malpractice lawsuits against their primary care physicians and specialists they consult. While medical professionals and institutions carry insurance to protect against these types of suits, they can quickly add up and go beyond what your policy covers. In fact, many doctors have lost their licenses due to malpractice suits so it is important to understand why most patients sue.

1. Improper Diagnosis / Failure to Diagnose

Oddly, doctors report that the most common reason for medical malpractice suits is a failure to diagnose, which is a broad umbrella covering improper diagnosis. You’ve worked hard to get that MSHA degree and now you are in a position to make some administrative changes to ensure your healthcare facility is safe from these types of complaints. It is suggested that continual review of diagnoses be conducted to safeguard both patients and your hospital.

2. Patients Suffered an Injury at the Hands of the Physician or Facility

These are the types of lawsuits you hear about when a doctor inadvertently closes up a patient during surgery leaving a sponge or small tool inside. There are, in fact, a number of ways in which a patient feels that it was the hospital’s or doctor’s fault that they suffered a severe consequence due to their treatment, resulting in injury or death. Some patients even sue their pharmacist for not warning them of the serious consequences of taking two medications together that are contraindicated. If a patient and/or the patient’s family feels that the doctor or facility caused an injury they are likely to sue.

While record keeping and failure to treat are among the other reasons for medical malpractice suits, nothing compares to these two, as they each received 31% of ‘votes’ as the number one reason for lawsuits as reported by doctors.