JAMA Publishes Important New Study About Medical Mistakes

A lot of attention is paid to medical malpractice that occurs within Pennsylvania hospitals, and with good reason.  Many preventable medical mistakes happen in hospitals.  However, a new study completed by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College found that the number and severity of medical malpractice incidents is similar in outpatient facilities, including physicians’ offices, to the number and severity of medical malpractice incidents in hospitals.

The study, published in last week’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that while the number and severity of medical malpractice claims is similar, the cause of the medical malpractice is not.  As would be expected, many hospital medical malpractice claims result from surgical errors while many doctor office medical malpractice claims result from the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis.

In the past decade, there has been a concerted effort to lower the risk of medical malpractice in hospitals.  So far, the same attention has not been paid to individual doctors’ offices.  As Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers we will continue to monitor the response to this study to see if similar attention is paid to potential malpractice within individual offices and whether the response is effective in decreasing Pennsylvania medical malpractice injuries.