Every year, Medscape sends out a survey to gauge how physicians and healthcare specialists regard their malpractice suits: how likely they feel that they will have a claim, what specialties and demographics get sued the most, and even how defendants feel about plaintiff lawyers. With over 4000 survey respondents, this report puts a magnifying glass to how medical professionals feel about the malpractice landscape – and perhaps points to trends that could change how the medical field views suits.
Some of the highlights from the survey include prevalence of claims by specialty, with 85% of OB/GYN respondents claiming they’ve had a suit in their career, followed by Surgeons at 83%, Orthopedics at 79%, and Radiologists at 72%. The nature of these lawsuits were overwhelmingly Failure to Diagnose, as well as the Patient Suffering an Abnormal Injury, each at 31% of respondents.
Other questions reveal that men are more likely to be sued than women, participants believe the best way to discourage lawsuits is by medical panels prescreening claims before letting them go to court, and most respondents don’t think medical organizations and societies are doing enough to reduce the number of claims.
There are glimmers of hope in the study, however: most respondents show sympathy when their colleagues are sued, and acknowledged human error as a contributor. Also, a third of all respondents cases reached a settlement before going to a full trial.
In a rapidly evolving field such as medicine, data like this can help carriers and legislatures craft malpractice insurance for the present and future, especially as telemedicine develops and expands. For more trends and news on the malpractice industry, keep it locked in to Presidio.
Source: Medscape. (2015). Medscape Malpractice Report 2015: Why Most Doctors Get Sued.