Background. We have studied compensation claims to the Norwegian Patient Compensation System raised after treatment in the Department of Neurosurgery of the University Hospital of North Norway in order to identify potentials for improvement. Methods. We present a retrospective study of all claims raised during the years 1994 through 2000. We registered the grounds for claims, outcomes and processing times and analysed them in relation to the annual caseload in the department. Results. A total of 3,873 neurosurgical operations were performed; 52 patients (1.3%) claimed compensation. Claims were raised by a significantly (p < 0.001) higher proportion of patients undergoing spine surgery (2.3%) than by those undergoing intracranial surgery (0.5%). Median case processing time was 396 days. The claims were accepted in 19 cases (37%) and rejected in 28 (53%) cases. Five (10%) cases were not finally settled. Postoperative infection (n = 9) was the most common reason for acceptance. Interpretation. Case processing time is too long. The survey showed no systematic errors. The high frequency of claims after spine surgery suggests that special care should be taken in patient selection and information before such procedures.
|Translated title of the contribution||Patient compensation claims to the Norwegian Patient Compensation System after neurosurgical treatment|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Tidsskrift for den Norske laegeforening|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Feb 2003|