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Can doctor errors be reduced by ordering more tests?

One of the biggest complaints that patients here in Oregon and around the country have is that doctors fail to take the time to be sure that a diagnosis is correct and the right treatment is prescribed. A recent study indicates that some doctors are attempting to avoid mistakes by ordering more tests and procedures -- generally spending more money on each patient. The data indicates that claims for doctor errors are reduced by those who follow this practice.

The study only covered doctors from one state and only included certain specialties. Data was gathered from those who specialize in disciplines such as general surgery, pediatrics and internal medicine, along with obstetrics and gynecology. It might not surprise Oregon readers that the two areas with the most medical malpractice claims are obstetrics and gynecology and general surgery.

Florida doctors who purposely spent more time and money on their patients in tests and procedures did see a decline in medical malpractice claims. This does not necessarily mean that the study proves that doctors should spend more money on their patients, however. Researchers are not ready to confirm their hypothesis based only on this small study.

Even if the number of doctor errors decreases when physicians spend more time and money with a patient, that does not mean that no mistakes occur. Debilitating injuries and deaths still occur across every medical discipline. Victims and/or their families should not give up the right to file medical malpractice claims when the standard of care received is subpar.

Source:, "Doctors who spent more on patients were sued less often", April 5, 2016

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