Six Top Factors Contributing To Patient Injury in Emergency Medical Malpractice Claims:

  1. 52% of patient injury involves patient assessment-related issues                             
    The study found that 52% of the emergency medicine medical malpractice claims that contributed to patient injury involved patient assessment-related issues, involving the failure to establish a differential diagnosis, failure to order diagnostic tests, failure to address abnormal findings, and the failure to consider available clinical information.
  2. 21% of patient injuries are due to patient factors                                                                                                      
    The second top factor contributing to patient injury (21%) were patient factors, including physical characteristics (such as obesity) and patient behaviors (such as non-adherence with treatment plans or follow-up appointments).
  3. Communication among providers contributes around 17% in patient injuries in such claims                                                                                                                          
    The third top factor contributing to patient injury (17%) involved communication among providers, including the failure to communicate, the failure to review the medical records, and poor professional rapport.
  4. Communication between patient/family & providers contributes around 14% in patient injury in medical malpractice claims
    The fourth top factor contributing to patient injury (14%) involved communication between the patient and/or family and providers, including poor rapport with the patient and communication issues involving inadequate patient education of follow-up instructions or language barriers.
  5. Insufficient or lack of documentation contributes around 13% to the patient injury         
    The fifth top factor contributing to patient injury (13%) involved insufficient or lack of documentation, including inadequate documentation involving clinical findings, follow-up efforts, history, and telephone advice to patients.
  6. Inappropriate workflow & workload also results in about 12% of patient injury                  
    The sixth top factor contributing to patient injury (12%) involved workflow and workload, which may occur at times of limited staffing and/or services, such as weekends, nights, and holidays, and may involve the level of activity and chaos in the emergency department.





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