OT: When Doctors Err, Many to Blame

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kjfms, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Original page:

    Several Doctors Often Involved in Serious Errors in Primary Care

    By Daniel DeNoon

    WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
    on Monday, October 02, 2006

    Oct. 2, 2006 -- Who is to blame when patients are injured by missed or delayed primary care diagnoses?

    The finger of blame points in many directions, a new study shows.

    The study is one of the first to look at medical errors that happen not in hospitals, but in doctors' offices across the nation.

    It comes from medical-error researchers Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH; David M. Studdert, ScD; and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    Gandhi and colleagues looked at the medical and legal records for 181 malpractice claims for a missed diagnosis settled against primary care doctors.

    The harm was serious in 59% of the cases; 30% of the cases resulted in death.

    The main findings:

    A missed cancercancer diagnosis -- particularly breast cancerbreast cancer -- was the most common error.

    Failure to order the appropriate test, seen in 55% of the cases, was the most common diagnostic breakdown.

    Failure to create a proper follow-up plan was the breakdown in 45% of the cases.

    Failure to get a proper history from a patient or to perform a proper physical exam was the breakdown in 42% of the cases.

    Incorrect interpretation of test results was the breakdown in 37% of the cases.

    The typical case had three different breakdowns.

    In all of these cases, doctors made mistakes.

    They had failures of judgment (79% of cases);

    failures of vigilance or memory (59% of cases);

    too little knowledge (48% of cases);

    and failed properly to hand the case off to another doctor (20% of cases).

    At least two doctors erred in 43% of the cases -- and at least three doctors were involved in 16% of the cases.

    The study doesn't let patients off the hook. Nearly half the time, patients failed to provide their doctors with crucial information or missed appointments.

    "The prospects for 'silver bullets' in this area seem remote," Gandhi and colleagues conclude. "Our findings are humbling, and they underscore the need for continuing efforts to develop the 'basic science' of error prevention in medicine, which remains in its infancy."

    The study appears in the Oct. 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.


    SOURCES: Gandhi, T.K. Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct. 3, 2006; vol 145: pp 488-496. Wachter, R.M. Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct. 3, 2006; vol 145: pp 547-549.

    Thanks for reading,

    Karen :)

  2. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    How are you?

    Now don't get you blood pressure up -- I did not post it for that...LOL

    I am sorry about your son and thank goodness you spotted the tumor.

    Doctors -- well what can I say there are good one and bad one. I have been fairly lucky with some very good ones.

    Oh Wake you make it so easy -- I think you are one in a million and a great person for me to whine to. I do appreciate that.

    Yeah it is a miracle -- my PT was suspected by a PA and she was right.

    The lactation has just about quit -- again.

    No I haven't got to see my physician yet and it will probably be a while. She has a major family heath crisis and was not there again last week.

    I can't blame her it is a very serious situation for her and I am sure she is having a rough time of it.

    Sounds good -- I will be your first patient!!

    Oh -- I am glad you got your computer fixed.

    Well I have to get to bed pretty soon -- got to work tomorrow. I just wish I felt better I just hate working when I do not feel well.

    Oh well maybe I will feel better tomorrow after I get some sleep.

    Take care YOU too,

    Karen :)

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