Doctors’ Biggest Mistake? Preventable Diagnosis Errors

November 25, 2013 | Crandall & Pera Law
Doctors’ Biggest Mistake? Preventable Diagnosis Errors

Diagnosis errors, the most common form of medical mistakes, lead to permanent damage or death for as many as 160,000 patients each year, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. 

Healthcare providers are turning to a number of innovative strategies to fix the oversights in the quest for the right diagnosis. Computers are used to sift through medical records and prompt doctors to follow up on red-flag test results, while new devices and tests aim to help doctors identify diseases and conditions more accurately.

One of the biggest changes in the medical community will be a push to change the very culture of medicine. "Doctors are being trained not to latch onto one diagnosis and stick with it no matter what," according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. "Instead, they're being taught to keep an open mind when confronted with conflicting evidence and opinion."

These changes are looking to improve patient care and reduce the number of malpractice claims, of which diagnosis errors accounted for 35% of nearly $39 billion in payouts in the U.S. from 1986 to 2010. Read the full article here:

The Biggest Mistake Doctors Make

This article aptly notes that diagnostic error is the biggest patient safety issue doctors face.  Fortunately, doctors are now being trained “not to latch onto one diagnosis and stick with it no matter what.” It is this mindset, that the doctor’s original diagnosis must be correct, that leads to patient harm in many circumstances. This article also demonstrates why it is so important to ask your doctor what the results are for any test you undergo. Even when test results come back with abnormal findings, these findings are not always communicated to the patient.

If you or a family member believe you have a medical malpractice case, including errors or delay in diagnosis, contact Crandall & Pera Law today for a free case evaluation. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.