Communication failures a key issue in medical malpractice


Some 30 percent of all medical malpractice claims involve a communication failure according to a new CRICO Strategies CBS report, Malpractice Risks in Communication Failures.

The report’s writers analyzed national medical malpractice claims and found that 30 percent of these claims involve communication breakdowns where acts, figures, or findings got lost between the individuals who had that information and those who needed it—across the spectrum of health care services and settings.

With a special focus on general medicine, obstetrics, nursing and surgery, the report shines light on miscommunication and identifies specific opportunities to improve skills and systems to mitigate those risks.

Talking about communication failures, Mark Reynolds, president of CRICO, said: “An important takeaway from this analysis is that when a claim has provider-provider communication failures, it is more likely to result in payment than cases with provider-patient communication issues. The data in this report look at specific drivers of those breakdowns which offers organizations actionable intelligence to implement solutions to mitigate those risks.”

CRICO Strategies’ CBS database currently holds more than 320,000 medical malpractice cases from more than 400 hospitals nation-wide and provides a unique insight into what goes wrong, and why. Participating organizations contribute their claims to the ever-growing pool of data and are awarded with analysis that offers insight to specific risk vulnerabilities.

Heather Riah, assistant vice president of CRICO Strategies, added: “Communication difficulties are not isolated to providers lacking ‘people skills’ or patients with language or comprehension deficits. Every mode and system by which patients and caregivers share health-related information is vulnerable to failure. Our report helps identify and mitigate those risks.”

CRICO Strategies, Malpractice, Communication Failures, Mark Reynolds, US