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Diagnostic errors top list for patient safety concerns

It happens every year. Individuals in New Jersey and elsewhere fall ill, go to their doctor, are diagnosed and given a treatment plan. It seems rather simple and straightforward, and if we were talking about minor illnesses like a sinus infection or the flu, this would be correct. However, ailments can get complex. Even if it is not a rare condition, it could be missed or wrongfully diagnosed. This could cause a patient much hardship, as they are not getting the medical treatment they require to treat the illness or condition from which they are suffering.

Patients have many safety concerns when they are treated at a medical clinic or facility. While patients stress about opioid safety and issues concerning healthcare IT, the item that has topped the list is one that is no stranger to this top slot. Diagnostic errors remain the top safety concern for patients.

Miscommunication is often cited as a source for this problem; however, it is not the only contributing factor for diagnostic errors. It is in fact a multifactorial problem, as they are the result of cognitive, systemic or a combination of these factors. Whether it is one factor or many, when a patient is improperly diagnosed, this can put their health at risk.

Therefore, when a diagnostic error occurs and a patient suffers harm because of the mistake of a doctor or several medical professionals, it is imperative the harmed patient understands the rights afforded to them. A medical malpractice suit could be an available action. This not only helps hold a negligent party accountable for their actions, but it also opens up the possibility for recovering compensation. This could help address losses such as medial bills, lost ages, rehabilitation and other damages.

Source: Healthleadersmedia.com, "Diagnostic Errors Lead ECRI's Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns," Steven Porter, March 14, 2018

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