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Communication Failures a Major Issue in Medical Liability Claims [INFOGRAPHIC]

August 27, 2021

Communications issues — communication problems between healthcare providers and failure to follow-up on tests/consults — were among the most expensive (highest indemnity) and most frequent (number of claims) associated issues in medical liability claims.*

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Top Associated Issues in Medical Liability Claims

Most Frequent Associated Issues

  1. Problems with history, exam, or workup
  2. X-ray error
  3. Comorbid issues
  4. Communication problems between healthcare providers
  5. Consent issues
  6. Problems with records
  7. Involves surgical/medical device
  8. Failure to follow-up on tests/consults
  9. Vicarious liability
  10. Unnecessary treatment

Most Expensive Associated Issues

  1. Problems with History, Exam, or Workup
  2. Problems with Records
  3. Communication problems between healthcare providers
  4. Comorbid Issues
  5. X-ray Error
  6. Failure to follow-up on tests/consults
  7. Consent Issues
  8. Lack of Adequate Facilities, Equipment, or Staff
  9. Unnecessary Treatment
  10. Fraud

Percentage of Claims With Indemnity Payments

  • 58% — Failure to Follow-Up on Tests/Consults
  • 47% — Communication Problems Between Healthcare Providers
  • 33% — All Claims

5 Top Specialties with Highest Indemnity Payments

Specialties with Highest Indemnity Payments Failure to Follow-Up on Tests/Consults

  1. Internal Medicine
  2. OB/GYN
  3. Family Medicine
  4. Pediatrics
  5. Cardiology

Communication Problems Between Healthcare Providers

  1. OB/GYN
  2. Internal Medicine
  3. Radiology
  4. Family Medicine
  5. General Surgery

 

* Claims data is based on a recent study of the NORCAL Group cause-of-loss database for the period April 2015-March 2020. Cost of claims is total indemnity.

Filed under: Infographic, Patient Care

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