Analysis of Closed Surgical Claims Identifies Pre- and Postoperative Concerns

May 23, 2012 | Risk Management News


More than one-third of surgical claims from an analysis of 3,244 closed surgical claims involve events occurring outside the operating room (OR) in the pre- and postoperative settings, said Darrell Ranum, J.D., CPHRM, regional vice president of patient safety for the Doctor’s Company (Napa, California). Speaking at the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management’s May 17, 2012, webinar The Cutting Edge: A Study of Malpractice Claims in Surgery, Ranum said, “a significant number of surgical medical malpractice cases take place before or after surgery.” Of the more than 3,000 surgical claims closed by the Doctor’s Company from 2001 to 2011, 36% (1,176 cases) occurred outside the OR before or after surgery. Examples of claims in the preoperative setting include delay in diagnosis, delay in treatment, and inadequate assessment of the patient.

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