Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer Says Claims In Outpatient Facilities Are Concerning

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Results show that healthcare professionals need to crack down on outpatient misdiagnoses and patients need to be cautious even outside the hospital, Chicago medical negligence attorney Patrick A. Salvi says.

Chicago medical malpractice attorney, Cook County medical negligence lawyer, Illinois personal injury law firm, hospital negligence, outpatient errors, misdiagnosis

Illinois medical malpractice lawyer Patrick A. Salvi

These results should be a jolt to the medical profession, telling it that much more needs to be done to protect patients’ safety at Illinois doctor’s offices, surgery centers, urgent care clinics and other non-hospital facilities.

A new finding that medical negligence claims occur as frequently in outpatient settings as in hospitals should serve as a wakeup call to both healthcare providers and patients, Chicago medical malpractice attorney Patrick A. Salvi said today.

“The researchers looked at thousands of medical malpractice claims, and they were surprised to find out that nearly half of the paid claims came from outpatient errors,” said Salvi, citing a study published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“These results should be a jolt to the medical profession, telling it that much more needs to be done to protect patients’ safety at Illinois doctor’s offices, surgery centers, urgent care clinics and other non-hospital facilities,” he said. “It also underscores that patients and their families need to monitor treatments received outside the hospital as closely as those inside.”

Salvi is the managing equity partner of the Chicago medical malpractice law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., which has recovered substantial verdicts and settlements on behalf of medical negligence, hospital error and birth injury victims.

The study involved researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, who analyzed five years of paid medical malpractice claims from the National Practitioner Data Bank.

In 2009, the last year of the study, 4,448 payouts came from outpatient medical errors, while 4,910 were related to hospital errors. The remaining 966 medical negligence claims involved both. Payments on all of the medical malpractice claims totaled $3.3 billion.

“These weren’t trivial errors — death and major injuries were the most common reason for malpractice claims,” lead researcher Tara Bishop told Reuters.

The most common types of medical negligence claims were different for outpatient and inpatient treatments. Surgical errors were the most frequent in hospitals, while diagnostic errors were the biggest problem in the outpatient setting.

“The study confirmed what I have seen in my many years practicing medical negligence law in Chicago and throughout Illinois,” Salvi said. “Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis are major problems at doctor’s offices and other outpatient facilities.

“In too many cases, an incorrect or delayed diagnosis of a disease or acute medical condition can mean death or severe injury for a patient.”

The Illinois medical malpractice lawyer said that many of the state’s outpatient treatment centers lack the checklists and protocols that some hospitals have put in place to cut down on medical errors. He also added that it is becoming more common for certain diagnostic tests and invasive procedures to take place on an outpatient basis rather than in the hospital.

Bishop, the JAMA research leader, advised patients to learn more about their treatments and to keep doctors and other medical professionals apprised of what’s going on between visits.

Salvi said it is crucial to seek help from an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney, such as those at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, if a patient or their loved one has been injured due to medical errors either in the hospital or during outpatient treatment.

About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Illinois medical malpractice law firm with offices in Chicago and Waukegan. The firm represents clients in matters involving emergency room errors, failure to diagnose, hospital negligence, physician error, birth injuries, surgical malpractice, anesthesia errors, organ puncture/perforation, post-operative and pre-operation malpractice and surgical complications. The firm’s success in medical negligence, personal injury and wrongful death cases features recovering more than $585 million on behalf of its clients, including more than 160 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. To learn more about Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., call (847) 249-1227 or use the firm’s online form.

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