5 statistics on neurosurgery malpractice claims — 39% allege technical skill issues


Coverys conducted a survey of 2,579 surgery-related closed malpractice claims from 2014 to 2018 to examine trends and data-driven insights for the healthcare industry. 

Five key points for neurosurgeons:

1. Neurosurgery was the third most common specialty to trigger medical malpractice claims, comprising 8 percent of the claims. Orthopedic surgery was No. 2 with 17 percent of the claims. General surgery was No. 1 with 22 percent of the claims.

2. Surgeon performance allegations appeared in 73 percent of the neurosurgery claims, lower than the average of 78 percent across all specialties.

3. Issues with technical skills were cited in 39 percent of the claims for neurosurgeons, which was lower than the other top two specialties — general surgery with 43 percent and orthopedic surgery with 46 percent.

4. Twenty-three percent of the alleged injuries in the neurosurgery claims were categorized as high severity or death. Wrong-site or wrong-side surgery was cited in 11 percent of the claims.

5. Clinical judgement was cited in 16 percent of the neurosurgery claims, while communication was cited in 11 percent.

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