J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2019 Feb;30(1):1-7. 10.0000/jksem.2019.30.1.1.

10-Year retrospective study for complaints about medical malpractice in emergency department

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea. emdrkimk@gmail.com


Among emergency department patient complaints, complaints related to medical malpractice can often lead to lawsuits. This study examined the reasons for medical malpractice complaints and find ways to improve the medical process and patient satisfaction in an emergency department.
This study analyzed 269 official complaints of emergency department patients between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2016. From these complaints, 100 complaints of medical malpractice were analyzed and the complaints of the non-medical process, such as unkindness, cost, facilities and the others, were excluded. The patients' age, sex, relationship between the patient and complainer, insurance state and visiting hour were analyzed. Details of the medical malpractice complaints were assessed and classified into four reasons: diagnosis, examination, treatment, and explanation. This study attempted to analyze the hospital's response to the complaints made during the medical process.
Among the 100 medical malpractice complaints, 75 occurred at night duty; 40 were related to treatment, 32 to diagnosis, 22 to examination, and six to explanation. Among the treatment, wound problems were the most frequent reason for 23 cases. The hospital made financial compensation to 16 of its patients.
The medical malpractice complaints occurred mainly at night. Treatment, especially wound problems, was the most frequent reason for the complaints. The rate of monetary compensation was higher than that of the other studies.


Emergency medical services; Malpractice; Patient satisfaction; Wound and injuries
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