10 Years of Claims Data Shows That Despite Patient Safety Initiatives, Adverse Outcomes Continue

Boston, MA - October 19, 2020 - Coverys, a leading provider of medical professional liability insurance, today released its latest report, A Call for Action: Insights From A Decade of Malpractice Claims. The report explores how efforts in the decade following the 10-year anniversary of To Err Is Human have not delivered optimal results. It raises vital questions and renewed areas of focus for the healthcare industry.
Coverys data shows improvement in select areas such as increased patient engagement, flattened hierarchies enabling staff to raise concerns, increased teamwork, and better sharing of information. However, many areas remain largely unchanged.
Some key findings of the report include:
  • Surgery and procedure-related allegations are the most frequent, followed closely by diagnosis-related allegations—combined, they account for 57% of allegations and 59% of indemnity paid. 
  • Persistent risks that lead to poor patient outcomes involve the interweaving of communication, process, and cognitive issues, each capable of impacting reliable patient care. 
  • The practice of anesthesia is now highly data-driven and claims are declining. A focus on simulation training, human factors engineering, and evidence-based decision-making has resulted in improvements. 
“Data provides a glimpse into our past to inform the future, what I call signals,” said Robert Hanscom, vice president, risk management and analytics, Coverys. “We see promise in a decade’s worth of data and embrace decision-making based on robust data analysis. The ability to parse and examine claims and event data from many angles enables us to understand trends, reveal fresh insights, and make recommendations to help improve patient safety.”
To learn more about the findings of the data and recommendations, download a free copy of the report.
The report is co-authored by Ann Burke, RN, CPHRM, CPPS, Former Senior Director, Risk Management;
Robert Hanscom, JD, Vice President, Risk Management and Analytics; Ann Lambrecht, RN, BSN, JD, FASHRM, Senior Risk Specialist, Risk Management; Amit Patel, Director, Risk Management and Analytics; and Maryann Small, MBA, Senior Director, Risk Management and Analytics.