According to data gathered by the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA), an organization composed of over 60 medical malpractice insurance companies, failure to diagnose is the single most common complaint made in medical malpractice cases. The top four medical malpractice allegations, in order, are:
As one might expect, failure to diagnose and error in diagnosis complaints are somewhat related – together, they make up over 40% of all medical malpractice claims. Clearly, diagnosis is one of the most heated topics in malpractice litigation – and more than likely, one of the areas in which physicians are most likely to make costly mistakes. Too often, doctors are too busy or too distracted to make a diagnosis based on a complete and thorough examination. Inadequate or ignored exam and follow-up procedures also contribute to failure to diagnose.
An incorrect diagnosis is a very serious medical matter. Not only does it cause significant delays for a patient who may need immediate care, but it may also result in dangerous health complications from unneeded or incorrect treatments.