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Diagnostic errors are a serious problem


Many people in Oregon are seriously injured because of medical errors. When a doctor makes a mistake that harms a a patient, the patient may be left with permanent disabilities or even die.

One of the most common types of medical errors are diagnostic errors, which can include delayed, incorrect or missed diagnoses. According to the Institute of Medicine, around 12 million adults are affected by diagnostic errors every year in outpatient settings. About one out of 10 patients who die do so because of diagnostic errors, and between 6 and 17 percent of adverse events that occur inside hospitals are caused by them.

The IOM indicates that diagnostic errors happen because of several different things. Poor communication between the doctor, the medical staff and the patient can lead to their occurrence. Many physicians also receive little feedback from others regarding their diagnostic ability, and some health care settings have a culture in which reporting is discouraged. The IOM has outlined multiple things that can be done to prevent diagnostic errors, including treating patients, their families and the medical staff as a team for better communication, better training for doctors regarding diagnosis and using supportive technology to aid in the diagnostic process.

When a patient is not correctly diagnosed, the result could be a worsened medical condition and the delayed treatment of the underlying disease. This could cause serious harm to the affected patient and family members. Those who are in this type of a position may want meet with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss the available methods of seeking compensation for their losses.