Sunday, June 30, 2013


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
Suite 213
Phoenix, AZ 85016

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