Errors, Lack of Communication & OB Med Mal Lawsuits

Side Note: Given the fact that the average payout in an OB medical malpractice case averages $947,000, more than twice the average of any other specialty, it is easy to see why OB med mal rates are so high, and it is important to find out the most common reason the med mal cases are filed. A recent study of over 800 Obstetric medical malpractice lawsuits released in June by CRICO Strategies, reveals the top three reasons suits are filed. The cases studied were filed between 2005 and 2009. Not surprisingly, the top three reasons listed in the suits were: errors in medical judgment, errors in communication, and technical mistakes.

Overwhelmingly, an error in clinical judgment was mentioned 77% of the time and the most common cause cited in the OB lawsuits. Next, errors in communication were cited in 36% of the cases. And, finally, technical errors were cited 26% of the time.

The study shows how OB medical malpractice liability rarely occurs with one individual making one, isolated mistake. Instead, it confirms that OB physician liability arises usually out of a series of errors made by a team of individuals. And, the frequent lack of communication, added to the mix, should not be overlooked. It seems that cases can be made worse by lack of communication either within the team or with the patient. This is not news to us.

Are you an Ob-Gyn looking to lower your OB-Gyn med mal rates? If so, contact us today for a free, no-hassle quote.

Judgment errors rank among top reasons for lawsuits against obstetricians
By Alicia Gallegos
Posted June 28, 2011

Baby with ObstetricianErrors in clinical judgment, miscommunication and technical mistakes are the three top reasons cited for medical liability cases against obstetricians, according to a report.

The study, released in June by CRICO Strategies, analyzed the causes behind more than 800 obstetrician-related medical liability cases filed between 2005 and 2009. CRICO Strategies is an international company that provides risk management software and other services to hospitals and medical liability insurers.

See the original article.

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