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Failure to properly diagnose: Top 4 reasons why they occur

Medical malpractice instances occur for many reasons. Surgeons operate on the wrong body part; hospital personnel fail to properly sanitize areas that result in unnecessary staph infections. The list goes on and on. Diagnostic errors are also common. And, according to a recent report, there are several reasons why.

An advisory committee with the National Academy of Medicine-a nonprofit organization that provides objective analysis on issues concerning the fields of science, technology and medicine-offered information about present-day medical errors in a report released last fall.

Information about diagnostic errors was highlighted in the report. According to the data, roughly 12 million diagnostic errors involving an incorrect or delayed medical diagnosis happen every single year in the United States.

The committee emphasized four main reasons why they believe such errors are occurring and involve:

  1. Insufficient communication between doctors and their patients
  2. Out-of-date U.S. healthcare systems with no supportive diagnostic processes
  3. Inadequate feedback opportunities for physician diagnostic performance
  4. Healthcare cultures that discourage transparency regarding physician or hospital mistakes

Interesting statistics pointed out that approximately 17 percent of patients incorrectly diagnosed or experienced a missed diagnosis suffered from an adverse event as a result. Roughly 10 percent of the subset died.

Related post: Most Americans Will be Misdiagnosed at Least Once

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