Thursday, October 27, 2005

Neurology Malpractice Claims

BrooklynDodger confesses not to have read this communication on malpractice claims for neurological causes in full text. Bottom line, investigators found more than half the claims were "authentic and preventable." Among the questions are whether there were a bunch of "maybes" in the pool.


NEUROLOGY 2005;65:1284-1286

Neurologic patient safety: An in-depth study of malpractice claims
Thomas H. Glick, MD, Lee D. Cranberg, MD, Robert B. Hanscom, JD and Luke Sato, MD

From Harvard Medical School (Drs. Glick, Cranberg, and Sato), Boston, MA; and The Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions, Inc. (Dr. Sato and R.B. Hanscom), Cambridge, MA.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Thomas H. Glick, The Cambridge Hospital, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139; e-mail: (image placeholder)

This in-depth study of neurologic malpractice claims indicated authentic, preventable patient harm in 24 of 42 cases, enabling comparison with larger but administratively abstracted summary reports. Principal findings included the common occurrence of outpatient events, lapses in communication with patients and other providers, the need for follow-through by the consultant neurologist even when not primarily responsible, the frequency of diagnostic errors, and pitfalls associated with imaging.

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