Misdiagnosis common in outpatient clinics, study says

Identifying health problems is one of the main concerns of Chicago, Illinois, residents. Although some medical conditions are easily identifiable, others are not and may require professional attention. Readers should be concerned. One of the medical errors that can potentially cause harm to patients is misdiagnosis.

In a recently published study in BMJ Quality and Safety, researchers found that 12 million — or one in every 20 adults — are likely to be misdiagnosed in outpatient clinics each year. On top of that, misdiagnoses can have adverse implications, including death. According to statistics from the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, 40,000 to 80,000 people die each year because of misdiagnosis, making it the leading cause of medical malpractice claims in the United States.

Several factors can lead to erroneous diagnosis. Doctors can commit those mistakes because of uncertainty and decision-making issues. Another issue is providing patients with the right amount of information, including follow-ups and advice.

Doctors and patients can minimize misdiagnosis by working together. Patients, for instance, can make a list of their symptoms as well as any existing medical condition. Patient participation is important in all aspects that tackle their medical needs and doctors should engage them to do so.

Although not all misdiagnosis end in devastating outcomes, there are still possible repercussions because of avoidable medical mistakes. Chicago medical malpracticeattorneys know that diagnostic errors can cause a patient’s medical condition to worsen and if detected too late, can cause death.

In addition to the emotional toll, injuries or death caused by medical negligence can result in substantial costs including hospital bills, lost wages and funeral costs. The victim’s family may choose to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the hospital or health care provider to seek fair compensation.

Source: Healthline, “One in Every 20 Adults Is Misdiagnosed in Outpatient Clinics Every Year,” Sandra Levy, April 17, 2014