Healthcare Misdiagnosis and Russian Roulette
The shocking truth is that most people will suffer from at least one healthcare misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis in their lifetime. In fact, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine, Americans experience 12 million medical diagnosis errors per year. For many patients, healthcare misdiagnosis is the equivalent to playing Russian roulette with your health.
Diagnostic errors and inaccuracies, or delays in obtaining the appropriate diagnosis can also delay appropriate treatment for patients. In the best case scenario this is an inconvenience. In the worst case scenarios this can lead to patient death or the occurrence of adverse events in the hospital setting.
The same IOM report indicates that diagnostic errors are thought to contribute to 10 percent of patient deaths and 17 percent of adverse events in hospitals. But even is a misdiagnosis does not result in death, there are significant financial, psychological, and physical impacts on patients. Consider that:
- Diagnostic errors lead to a delay in critical treatment for health conditions
- Misdiagnosis is attributed to loss of patient trust in the healthcare system
- Diagnostic errors result in increased utilization of healthcare resources, as these patients seek appropriate care or relief for symptoms
- Diagnostic inaccuracies are a financial burden to patients who have to pay for additional doctor and specialist appointments, as well as varying courses of treatment
What can providers to do ensure appropriate diagnosis?
There are many steps that providers can take to help ensure that every patient receives and appropriate, timely, and accurate diagnosis. One of these steps includes the utilization of technology such as DocResponse. DocResponse is a web based diagnostic application that presents a number of symptoms and questions which are input by the patient. The patient’s own answers are then processed through and advanced algorithm that was designed by physician specialists, and produces a differential diagnosis – one that was recently recognized as the most accurate in the market by a study conducted by Harvard University and published in the British Medical Journal.
Allowing patients and physician’s access to unique diagnostic and assessment technology like the DocResponse platform is an important double check on diagnostic accuracy for today’s busy providers. Because the technology was developed by other physicians, and tested extensively according to specialties, it is information that providers can use as a trusted resource. Because the interface is intuitive and user friendly, it is an ideal platform for patients.
While there is no substitute for the expertise of physicians, DocResponse has potential applications which can be utilized to help decrease diagnostic errors and misdiagnosis in a simple, affordable, streamlined manner within healthcare practices.
As stated within the IOM Report “Getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect of health care: It provides an explanation of a patient’s health problem and informs subsequent health care decisions. For decades, diagnostic errors — inaccurate or delayed diagnoses — have represented a blind spot in the delivery of quality health care. Diagnostic errors persist throughout all settings of care and continue to harm an unacceptable number of patients”
DocResponse is committed to helping solve the problem of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis in the healthcare setting. To find out more about how DocResponse can be utilized within your organization please reach out to us in the comments below, or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can improve healthcare!