Medical Malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries. Medical professionals may obtain professional liability insurance to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.
Frequency and Cost of Medical Errors
Statistics show that approximately 195,000 people are killed every year by medical malpractice errors in the US. The study notes that about 1.4 million patient safety incidents occurred among 37 million hospitalizations in the Medicare population over the years 2000-2002. Hospital costs associated with such medical errors were estimated at $324 million in October 2008 alone. Between 15,000 and 19,000 malpractices suits are brought against doctors each year.