Does patient communication impact diagnostic error rates?Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
One place many individuals in New Jersey feels safe is the doctor’s office. Even more so, a patient is very trustworthy of the words and information shared with them from their doctor. If a medical professional diagnoses a patient with an illness or condition, the patient is likely to accept these conclusions and follow the treatment path suggested.
Does patient communication impact diagnostic error rates? When looking at diagnostic errors as a whole, the impact it has on patients across the U.S. is significant. In fact, it is reported that 12 million outpatients are affected each year by diagnostic errors. Furthermore, it was found that roughly 17 percent of adverse events causing hospitalization are caused by diagnostic errors.
One reason to explain this rate is patient communication. When medical professionals fail to ask patients certain questions, believe the answers that patients are giving or even assert their authority over the patient because of their education and experience, this can cause a patient to suffer harms from improper medical care. The patient’s words and explanation is the best source for a medical professional to order tests, conduct further examinations and arrive at a conclusion. When a medical professional fails to take such a step, this could cause great harm to the patient.
A diagnostic error is not just telling a patient wrong information, it is not allowing a patient to have timely medical treatment or the correct medical treatment. When such a situation occurs, a patient should understand their rights to file a medical malpractice action. Such an action not only holds a negligent medical professional accountable, but also helps a patient recover compensation for losses suffered.