Steps that can be taken to prevent a misdiagnosis

Every nine minutes, a patient in Ohio or elsewhere in the U.S. dies because of a delayed or incorrect diagnosis. That means that as many as 80,000 people die each year because of an improper diagnosis. An effort called ACT for Better Diagnosis is aiming to reduce the negative impact of misdiagnosis. It has identified several different factors making it more likely that a medical error will happen when diagnosing a patient.

Among those factors include a lack of time to spend with the patient, a lack of feedback and a lack of funding. In some cases, the process of making a diagnosis is too complicated. The effort is being undertaken by 40 groups, but the way that each group chooses to address the issue will be determined by their own criteria. It is estimated about 12 million people will be impacted by an improper diagnosis.

Of those, 4 million will experience harm, and the cost of the incorrect diagnoses is roughly $100 billion per year. One solution is to make the patient a part of the diagnostic team right along with his or her doctors. Another solution is to increase communication between different offices that receive information about a patient during the process of determining what a patient is experiencing.

Patients who have been victims of incorrect or delayed diagnoses may wish to file a lawsuit. Doing so may make it easier to collect compensation for medical bills incurred or other damages related to the error. Columbus, Ohio, medical malpractice injury lawyers may collect evidence such as a list of a patient's symptoms to show that the error was made in a negligent fashion. Insurance companies or hospitals may also be held liable for damages.

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