Not many people know that misinterpretation of diagnostic scans and films is a common thing that often causes misunderstanding of the patient’s condition. Mostly CT scans and X-rays are misread and result in causing patient injury. The new study by The Doctors Company reveals the high incidence of such malpractices by radiologists.
The study is published today by The Doctor’s Company which is one of the biggest doctors owned medical malpractice insurers. It works on a mission that is to advance, protect and reward a physician who is practicing medicine with excellence.
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The Doctors Company is founded by a team of physicians to ensure quality medicine practice and reward the doctors for their effortless services. It helps the healthcare units by picking the malpractice and making sure that the healthcare environment is safe. It provides expert guidance, services, coverage and resources to offer the best medical malpractice insurance. It has more than 82,000 members and contains approximately $4.5 billion in assets.
Darrell Ranum, the study author and VP of the Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management finds this research to be part of the mission, making the practice of good medicine a real thing. Studies like these would also inspire physicians to focus more on patient care instead of justifying their practices to be true.
The report highlights the typical claims and common patient injuries. It also discusses the nature and severity of these injuries and what contributed to cause them. The report is prepared through expert physician analysis. The report found that;
- The biggest contributing factor to cause a patient injury is a misinterpretation of diagnostic scans (Common in 78% of the total cases)
- Among all these injuries, the top injury from the misinterpretation of diagnostics was confirmed to be an undiagnosed malignancy.
- The misinterpretation in diagnostics was highest in CT scans (nearly 34% of all cases)
All radiologists and clinicians should read these study findings are taking necessary steps to avoid them. Bradley N. Delman is a neuroradiologist at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital. He shares that the report also tells some positive things such as improved communication between radiologists and clinicians. It is probably the best till the date and not to forget, nearly 18% of injuries are linked with miscommunication between physicians. Gladly, that is not a very big risk and there is still time and chance to make it better.
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The study analyzed the claims against interventional radiologists on the following factors.
- The biggest factor to cause an injury to the patient was technical performance. It was shown in nearly 76% of the claims. Most of the targets were the patients who suffered from improper technical performance after invasive surgeries.
- In these cases, some 65% of the cases were followed with an appropriate procedure, even when it showed undesirable results later.
- Only 11% of the cases were found at fault due to poor technical assistance and surgery at the wrong body site.
Studies like these are important because of miscommunication between radiologist and patient before surgery adds chances for an undesirable outcome. It is necessary for the radiologist to educate the patient on all potential risks of the surgery and make sure that he understands it. This way, the frequency of misinterpretation and malpractice can be reduced gradually.