Ferguson B, Geralds J, Petrey J, et al. Malpractice in emergency medicine – a review of risk and mitigation practices for the emergency medicine provider. J Emerg Med. 55(5):659-665.
Concern for malpractice risk can influence clinical decision-making in the emergency department (ED). Relatively high rates of litigation are associated with missed acute myocardial infarction, missed fractures/foreign bodies, abdominal pain/appendicitis, wounds, intracranial bleeding, aortic aneurysm, and pediatric meningitis. This article evaluates malpractice in emergency medicine and outlines strategies that physicians can utilize to mitigate risk in daily practice, such as optimization of communication, thorough documentation, utilization of clinical practice guidelines, appropriate management of patients who discharge against medical advice, and establishment of follow-up for diagnostic studies ordered in the ED.