As a doctor or physician, when a patient seeks your help, he or she is entrusting his or her health to your care, expertise, and medical training.
The human body is so complex, there may come a time in your career where you make a mistake. Unfortunately, this error is not always caused by pure coincidence; in many cases, misdiagnosis is preventable.
The biggest mistake doctors make, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, is misdiagnosis. Such devastating errors can lead to permanent damage—or even death. Over 160,000 patients experience misdiagnosis each year.
Diagnostic problems are more common than other medical mistakes and are the leading causes of malpractice claims. From 1986 to 2010, 35 percent of nearly $39 billion in medical malpractice payouts were related to misdiagnosis.
While these statistics seem bleak, there is good news. Misdiagnoses are often easier to prevent than other medical mistakes, and health-care providers are cracking down to improve the numbers. Many are turning to innovative strategies to fix complex errors, biases, and oversights they often see leading to misdiagnosis.
Part of the solution could also include adding an automated element. This would mean automating computers to sift through medical records to find potential “bad calls” or at least force doctors to follow up on test results that raise a red flag.
There’s also a push to change the culture of medical practice. Instead of latching onto the first diagnosis, physicians are being trained to keep an open mind when confronted with conflicting evidence and opinion.
If you are a doctor or physician with questions about medical malpractice law, or feel your professional license may be at risk because of a misdiagnosis, contact an experienced professional licensing attorney today for help and guidance.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Alex Proimos via Creative Commons