According to an article that was published in The Daily Courier in Prescott, Ariz., the most common medical error, according to a recent study, is misdiagnosis.
Researchers studied more than 350,000 medical malpractice cases that spanned 25
years in the U.S. that patients had won. They found that misdiagnosis accounted
for nearly three out of every 10 successful malpractice claims, and nearly
seven out of 10 paid claims based on misdiagnosis were related to care that
occurred outside of the hospital.
Unfortunately, these claims noted that about half of the patients died while
the rest experienced serious and permanent harm, with 80,000-160,000 people
becoming permanently disabled each year. Diagnostic errors appear to be the most
common, most costly and most dangerous.
So, how can you avoid being misdiagnosed? The first step is to provide as much
relevant information as you can to your health care provider so they can come
up with the correct diagnosis. You should also provide a summary of your
medical history as well as a detailed list of all medications you are taking.
The second step is to ask questions if you’re unsure about the diagnosis, such
as: What else could it be? Is there anything that doesn't fit (meaning any symptom,
findings upon examining you, or a test result that isn't explained by the
diagnosis)? Is it possible that I have more than one problem?
The third step is to make sure you, as the patient, understand what has been
said to you. Get a written record of the doctor’s instructions and know when
you should start to feel better and what to do if there is no improvement.
The fourth and final step is to make an effort to follow the care instructions
you’ve been given, to notice if you feel better or not and to track any new
symptoms that arise.
Snyder and Wenner, P.C.
2200 E Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016