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Medical malpractice: American patients at risk

In Pennsylvania and across the United States, 33% of medical malpractice lawsuits related to permanent disabilities or death is due to a doctor's misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. A recent Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study showed that misdiagnosis is the main cause of grave mistakes. Many Americans die in hospitals every year because of misdiagnosis. Plus, approximately 12 million American patients experience diagnostic mistakes.

The challenge of proving a malpractice claim

When Pennsylvania patients experience increased suffering and a worsened health condition after a medical mistake, they may be outraged at the results. However, they may face challenges when they aim to seek compensation for a medical provider that used inaccurate or mistaken treatment methods. Under medical malpractice law, patients must show that the physician or health care professional responsible deviated from the accepted standard of care that he or she had a responsibility to follow. They must also show that this deviation caused the harm from which they then suffered.

Medication reconciliation training may minimize med list errors

Anyone receiving medical care in Pennsylvania has a right to expect medications to be prescribed based on accurate, up-to-date information. Unfortunately, this isn't always what happens. Due to the potential for prescription oversights, a group of physician assistant student researchers recommends that a standardized medication reconciliation training regimen they developed be implemented.

How EHR usability issues put pediatric patients at risk

Electronic health records are fraught with usability issues that have proven detrimental to clinical workflow. Moreover, these issues put many patients, especially pediatric patients, at risk for injuries arising from medication errors. Pennsylvania residents should know that ONC is currently drafting voluntary rules for the use of EHRs in pediatric care and that Pew Charitable Trusts, in the effort to inform policymaking, has issued a new report.

Study finds that schizophrenia is often misdiagnosed

Schizophrenia is a very serious mental disorder that is treated with powerful antipsychotic medications. However, a recently conducted study suggests that schizophrenia could be overdiagnosed throughout Pennsylvania and around the country. A research team from Johns Hopkins University came to this conclusion after analyzing the cases of 54 patients who had been sent to a Baltimore clinic after receiving a schizophrenia diagnosis from their doctors. The researchers found that only 26 of them had been properly diagnosed.

Reports find misdiagnosis behind most malpractice claims

Pennsylvania residents may not know that misdiagnoses are the most common reason for medical malpractice claims. This was the conclusion that two malpractice insurance carriers came to separately, and it is backed up by previous studies.

Surgical skills transcend technical knowledge

When patients in Pennsylvania go into the hospital, they often feel reassured by doctors with a good bedside manner. Those good feelings can be backed up by data, according to experts. Surgery makes use of highly advanced technical skills, but non-technical skills are also an important part of a surgeon's practice. One surgical expert said that in addition to aptitude, ability and ambition, adaptability and humility are important characteristics of a successful surgeon.

Study finds factors for misdiagnosis of optical tumors

Optic nerve sheath meningiomas, or ONSM, are a rare type of tumor that develops around the optic nerve. Though they are considered benign, ONSM cause vision problems as the tumor grows and presses on the optic nerve. Optic nerve sheath meningiomas account for one-third of all optic nerve tumors. The tumors can be difficult to treat as they are often initially misdiagnosed until loss of vision has occurred.

Migraines, and the seven conditions they can be confused with

There are seven conditions that migraine sufferers in Pennsylvania are most frequently misdiagnosed with. Migraines, after all, exhibit symptoms that are shared by other conditions. The issue is so widespread that according to one study, only one in 20 patients gets a correct headache or migraine diagnosis. Patients will therefore want to be familiar with these seven other conditions.

Study finds pediatric medication errors are often linked to EHRs

Hospitals in Pennsylvania and around the country rely on electronic health record systems to ensure that patient information is updated regularly. These systems are designed by computer specialists to provide doctors with all of the information they need to make prudent medication and treatment decisions, but the way this data is presented is sometimes so confusing that it leads to errors. Researchers from the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare studied 9,000 pediatric patient reports gathered at three hospitals between 2012 and 2017. Most of the errors they discovered were connected to EHR functionality.

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