Missed or delayed diagnosis is the number one reason for malpractice lawsuits against physicans according to data from The Doctors Company. The following risk management tips, based on the most in-demand articles on the company’s website in 2013, all suggest ways physicians can reduce the chance of diagnostic error:
- Be certain that there is a process in place to ensure that no imaging, laboratory, or consultant’s report is ever filed unless it has been dated and initialed by the physician as proof that it was reviewed. For more information, read “Malpractice Case Shows Risk from Physician Not Dating and Initialing Reports.”
- Communicate clearly with patients, document carefully and objectively, monitor handoffs and ensure follow-ups, avoid medication errors, and follow HIPAA regulations. For more on these tips, read “Malpractice Claims Consume Years of a Physician’s Career.”
- Ensure that your office staff knows how to reconcile tests, referrals, and consult orders with the results when received, and have a process in place in case of discrepancy. For more ways to reduce office practice risks, read “Frequent Malpractice Risks Faced by Office Practices Revealed in Survey.”
The Doctor’s Company is a leading provider of Medical Malpractice Insurance in the U.S. As the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer and the industry leader in patient safety, The Doctors Company provides physicians with tips, articles, and studies of its closed claims data to help reduce risks and promote patient safety. For more patient safety articles and practice tips, visitwww.thedoctors.com/patientsafety. For more information on Patient Safety Awareness Week, visitwww.npsf.org/psaw.
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