IOM: Diagnoses Often Are Wrong, Late; System Improvement Urgent But Difficult To Achieve
A new report by a blue-ribbon Institute of Medicine panel estimated that U.S. patients annually deal with about 12 million diagnostic errors -- some of which are lethal.
The Washington Post:
Most Americans Will Get A Wrong Or Late Diagnosis At Least Once In Their Lives
This critical type of health-care error is far more common than medication mistakes or surgery on the wrong patient or body part. But until now, diagnostic errors have been a relatively understudied and unmeasured area of patient safety. Much of patient safety is focused on errors in hospitals, not mistakes in diagnoses that take place in doctors’ offices, surgical centers and other outpatient facilities. (Sun, 9/22)
Kaiser Health News:
IOM: Teamwork Key To Reducing Medical Diagnostic Errors
Almost every American will experience a medical diagnostic error, but the problem has taken a back seat to other patient safety concerns, an influential panel said in a report out today calling for widespread changes. Diagnostic errors — defined as inaccurate or delayed diagnoses — account for an estimated 10 percent of patient deaths, hundreds of thousands of adverse events in hospitals each year and are a leading cause of paid medical malpractice claims, a blue ribbon panel of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) said in its report. (Appleby, 9/22)
The Associated Press:
Study: Diagnosis Wrong Too Often, Urgent Improvements Needed
Most people will experience at least one wrong or delayed diagnosis at some point in their lives, a blind spot in modern medicine that can have devastating consequences, says a new report that calls for urgent changes across health care. Getting the right diagnosis, at the right time, is crucial, but Tuesday’s Institute of Medicine report found diagnostic errors get too little attention. (Neergaard, 9/22)
Doctor Error, Sometimes Fatal, Has No Easy Cure In Sight, Researchers Say
The researchers concluded the "inattention" and "neglect" paid to these mistakes have resulted in unacceptable harm to patients, and they projected the errors will probably worsen as health care becomes more complex. (Bonifield, 9/22)
Diagnostic Error: Remembering The 'Forgotten Problem'
Tackling misdiagnosis will require a drastic rethinking about health care delivery and about payment. The IOM report recommends comprehensive malpractice reform, involving new efforts to come up with alternative dispute resolution and potential safe harbors for providers who adhere to clinical guidelines. Those approaches could avoid the longtime stalemates in Congress over caps on damages — and should be a priority as wrong diagnoses are the leading cause of malpractice suits, the authors conclude. (Mershon, 9/22)