A recently published study reveals that nearly one quarter of all surgical errors are due to technology and equipment problems which are largely preventable. According to the study, roughly fifteen per cent of surgical malpractice claims blamed technology and equipment issues as the cause of injury. These technological errors include: improper device configuration or settings, lack of availability of equipment, or malfunctioning machinery. As a result, surgical procedures that are heavily reliant on technology had higher error rates overall. The study’s authors warned that increased technology usage in surgical procedures may not only increase their complexity but also raise the potential for error caused by technological mishaps. Although these statistics are alarming, if you or a loved one is injured due to a technological or other error during a surgical procedure, you may be able to file a medical malpractice suit and receive compensation for your injuries.
The Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel Process
Hawaii state law requires all medical malpractice victims wishing to sue a physician, surgeon, osteopath, or medical facility to file a claim with the state’s Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel (MICP), part of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, prior to filing any lawsuits. The MICP program is designed as an informal forum for health care provider inquiries before a lawsuit is filed, unless the parties otherwise agree to submit the controversy to alternative dispute resolution. The panels, led by an attorney chair and a physician, frequently discuss topics such as liability, causation, and damages with the parties to the dispute, trying to encourage them to agree on a voluntary settlement. The panel issues an advisory decision at the end of the panel proceedings, however, both parties may still pursue a lawsuit if they are unsatisfied with the results. Since these inquiries frequently discuss highly specialized medical information, both sides are encouraged to have legal counsel present throughout the proceedings.