Malpractice Lawsuit Data Used to Improve Health Care

Medical malpractice lawsuits may provide a benefit to Connecticut patients in general. A report indicates that doctors and hospitals across the country are using data culled from previously filed malpractice lawsuits in order to identify areas in which they need to adjust their practices to avoid being sued. This has led to an improvement in the quality of care patients receive.

According to the Wall Street Journal, The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurance provider, released data from studies examining over 10,000 malpractice suits. It provided that information to doctors and health care facilities. Medical errors are the third-highest cause of death in the U.S. It has been estimated that more than 250,000 people died from medical errors in 2013 alone.

One example of a hospital changing its approach to treatment is Scripps Mercy in San Diego. The hospital deals with many patients who are injured by stingrays at the beach. Previously, the treatment was provided by nurses in the emergency room. Now, the hospital instead mandates that a doctor examines the wounds for foreign bodies before stitches are applied.

Doctor errors and other forms of medical negligence can lead to a variety of adverse consequences for a patient, including a worsened medical condition, the need for additional expensive care and treatment and lost wages due to an inability to work. Not all errors constitute medical malpractice, however. There has to be a finding that there was a failure to exhibit the required standard of care. An attorney who is representing a patient who has been harmed can make that determination after a review of the patient’s hospital records and a consultation with one or more medical experts.