Journal article

Missed and delayed diagnoses in the emergency department: A study of closed malpractice claims from 4 liability insurers

Allen Kachalia, Tejal K Gandhi, Ann Louise Puopolo, Catherine Yoon, Eric J Thomas, Richard Griffey, Troyen A Brennan, David M Studdert



STUDY OBJECTIVES: Diagnostic errors in the emergency department (ED) are an important patient safety concern, but little is known about their cause. We identify types and causes of missed or delayed diagnoses in the ED. METHODS: This is a review of 122 closed malpractice claims from 4 liability insurers in which patients had alleged a missed or delayed diagnosis in the ED. Trained physician reviewers examined the litigation files and the associated medical records to determine whether an adverse outcome because of a missed diagnosis had occurred, what breakdowns were involved in the missed diagnosis, and what factors contributed to it. Main outcome measures were missed diagnoses, process bre..

View full abstract