Of patients who are hospitalized in this country, between 1 and 2% of them will suffer some sort of negligent injury, according to a Harvard study. Only about 2% of those, in turn, will result in a malpractice claim. Even though those percentages are small, based on the sheer volume of patients, they add up to large numbers of malpractice suits brought against physicians every year. But are these always cases of negligence, or are they sometimes just avoidable bad outcomes?
A panel of experts convened at the 2006 Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting (COSM) in Chicago to look at some specific cases and try to inject a little bit of black and white into the sometimes gray area of negligence, malpractice, and bad outcome.
The panel included David W. Kennedy, MD, who served as moderator of the discussion; James A. Stankiewicz, MD; Donald C. Lanza, MD; Rodney P. Lusk, MD; Douglas E. Mattox, MD; Andrew N. Goldberg, MD; and special guest Patricia J. Foltz, JD, a malpractice defense lawyer from Chicago.