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Mining for Gold in Medical Malpractice Data


August 31, 2016 

Healthcare professionals and insurers have started mining recent medical malpractice lawsuits in order to learn how to make fewer mistakes and improve the quality of care.

They are looking at tried, settled and dismissed lawsuits to find out the reasons that doctors are sued and are then sharing these findings with doctors and hospitals in order to reduce mistakes and fix the issues that undermine patient safety.

Doctors Company, the largest physician-owned malpractice insurer, has conducted more than 40 studies of more than 10,000 recently closed claims.  While there are common themes in claims from almost every medical specialty, such as failure to properly diagnose or poor procedural technique, data from different specialties are helping to identify issues unique to different types of doctors — from primary care physicians and emergency room doctors to anesthesiologists to cardiologists.

The results of this data mining provide new insights into the types of errors doctors are making and when and where they are making them.  Now, healthcare professionals and facilities can put in place the steps necessary to prevent these errors and provide safer, higher quality of care for their patients.