Malpractice in cardiology: A review of literature

Author(s): Monica Hernandez Herrero

Medical liability is a major concern for health care professionals and the entire health care system. Health care activity carries a risk of malpractice lawsuits, but this risk is overestimated. This results in physicians trying to defend themselves from lawsuits by practicing defensive medicine, which is very detrimental to the entire system. A study of medical liability lawsuits shows that, even if a lawsuit is filed, it is decided in favor of the defendant in most cases. Medical specialty is one of the factors affecting the likelihood of a lawsuit. Although cardiology is considered a low-risk specialty, we believe that the relevance of cardiovascular diseases and their repercussions on people’s health is more than enough reason to delve into the current state of malpractice in cardiology. The study of medical liability is not widespread. However, we maintain that it is fundamental for a better understanding of medical–legal aspects among professionals. As a fundamental strategy we propose to further investigation into the analysis of rulings related to medical liability claims. In this way, risk estimation may more closely resemble reality and, as a consequence, we will be able to avoid the practice of defensive medicine.