American health care is gripped with multiple problems, but none is bigger than medical misdiagnosis.
More than 12 million Americans receive a misdiagnosis each year. Some of these diagnosis errors allow a deadly illness like cancer to progress. In other scenarios, an easily curable condition like streptococcal bacteria (strep throat) may prove fatal if doctors fail to identify the symptoms and provide a proper diagnosis.
Some of the common factors leading to medical misdiagnosis include:
- Communication issues between doctors and patients
- Communication issues between doctors and staff
- Failure to track misdiagnoses so they can be corrected
- Failure to incorporate new technology into diagnosis process
To help reduce the risk of misdiagnosis, patients should make sure they share medical records with physicians and notify them of any changes. Patients should also be their own advocates and speak up if they sense that their doctor has missed something or made an error.
If a missed diagnosis has caused you or a family serious harm, you have an uphill legal battle. Ohio has suffered ill-conceived malpractice reform measures. It is difficult for a medical malpractice victim to even get his or her day in court because so many procedural and evidentiary obstacles have been put in place. You need an experienced attorney to give your claim the best chance of success.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “The Battle Against Misdiagnosis,” Hardeep Singh, Aug. 7, 2014