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The list is long: malpractice insurer details doctors' errors

It is reasonable to assume that a medical malpractice insurance provider knows a thing or two about the underlying causes that drive litigation claims filed by injured patients and their families.

Put another way: An insurer that seeks to protect doctors and other medical professionals against liability for botched outcomes grounded in substandard care delivery commands a detailed understanding of why victims harmed by medical negligence file legal claims.

That intimate knowledge is clearly detailed in a report recently issued by one insurer focused upon primary causes of malpractice lawsuits in cardiology-related cases.

There is much material information to note in the report, even though it is presented in a bullet-point format.

Here's one central point that can be quickly gleaned from the insurer's detailed look at more than 400 cardiology claims resolved over a multi-year period: Notwithstanding that "patient factors" (for example, a patient not properly following a prescribed treatment regimen) contributed to a few bad outcomes, the clear majority of patient injuries owed to doctor errors of various sorts.

To be specific: In-depth scrutiny of malpractice records by insurer The Doctors Co. revealed that patients were harmed by flat-out physician mistakes that occurred across a wide spectrum of possibilities.

A chief culprit: misdiagnosis, with that term encompassing missed, delayed and wrong diagnoses. An article discussing the malpractice report notes that it is more likely than not for any given American to be victimized by at least one "meaningful" diagnostic mistake at some point during life.

Other areas of concern pointed out by The Doctors Co. included failure among medical professionals to adequately communicate with each other, failure to properly review records, surgical mistakes and inadequate care following a procedure or treatment.

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