Friday, October 22, 2010

Hospitals getting sued more often

The pace of malpractice claims against hospitals is picking up, according to a recent report from Aon Risk Solutions and the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management...
Erik Johnson, health care practice leader for Aon Risk Solutions’ Actuarial and Analytics Practice, tells the Health Blog it’s not clear why the frequency of claims against hospitals is edging up. ..

I've got an idea why, and a clue is found in the last paragraph of the WSJ Health Blog post:

A full 23% of hospital professional liability costs are associated with health-care acquired infections, health-care acquired injuries, medication errors, objects left in surgery and pressure ulcers, the report says.

Pressure ulcers, falls and infections have now been lumped in with objects left in surgery under the legal standard of res ipsa loquitur due in part to the efforts of the IOM and the popular media. Thanks, guys.


Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

Interesting op-ed in yesterday's New York Times regarding the issue of medical liability reform. He's no Tea Partier, but a former member of Obama's economic team.

Cheryl Handy said...

The number of claims are going to increase as
(1) hospitalists are encouraged to focus primarily on patient's presenting condition in a triage fashion to reduce hospital stay and costs and
(2) orthopedics are replacing joints and placing pins, etc on a regular basis when the medical profession generally is not prepared to prevent, diagnose, treat soft tissue and bone infections ranging from severe pressure sores to osteomyelitis.