Posted on Feb 02, 2012
In December 2011, the American Medical Association’s Center for Patient Safety (AMA) released the results of a decade long study that looked at safety for outpatients who receive ambulatory care. The report found significant problems in ambulatory care patient safety and recommended more research and action to deal with the problems.
Some of the problems identified in the AMA study include:
  • Incorrect prescribing of medication
  • Misdiagnoses
  • Missed test results
  • Poor communication in physician practices
One of the flaws of the existing study, and part of the reason for the AMA’s call for more research in this critical area of patient care is because the problems described above are not prioritized. We simply do not know which of these problems is the most significant and causes the most harm or fatalities to outpatients in this country.
Outpatient services outnumber inpatient hospital services by an estimated ratio of 300 to one. However, research has been significantly focused on hospital safety and not enough is known about ambulatory safety, according to researchers.
Different organizations are calling for more research to be done and for clinics and doctors’ offices to become involved in this critical area of patient care.
As Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys,  we remind patients that medical malpractice may occur in any medical setting and is not limited to hospitals. We encourage organizations and individual offices to continue research in this important area of patient safety so that more patients are spared the pain of medical errors.

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