How Should You Manage a Medical Misdiagnosis?

How Should You Manage a Medical Misdiagnosis main

If there’s one thing that most people can agree on, it’s that suffering with debilitating physical and mental symptoms can have a dramatic impact on our quality of life.

However, these circumstances can be exacerbated in instances where symptoms are overlooked or misdiagnosed, while this type of medical oversight can also cost lives in some cases.

While the actual percentages of mis- and missed diagnoses is hard to quantify, most reports estimate this to be in the region of 40%. This highlights the challenge facing medical practitioners and patients, even in an age where science and technology is advancing at a rapid rate.

But how should such instances be managed, in a way that optimises patient safety and protects the integrity of medical practitioners?

Understanding the Causes of Diagnostic Error

Before deciding to proceed when managing a medical misdiagnosis, it’s important to understand the reasons why such instances occur in the first place.

After all, this enables us to acknowledge that the diagnosis of medical conditions and ailments is difficult at the best of times. More specifically, there are significant patient variables such as how a particular disease might manifest itself over time, which must be considered alongside communication barriers and disjointed care in some instances.

It’s also important to note that there are more than 12,000 registered diseases according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and it’s fair to surmise that even the most experienced doctors have not encountered the overwhelming majority of these.

How Should You Manage a Medical Misdiagnosis doctor

When it comes to the manifestation and progression of diseases and the sheer wealth of conditions acknowledged by the WHO, there’s little that medical practitioners can do to negate these challenges.

However, instances of medical misdiagnosis can be both minimised and managed more effectively by tackling the communication issues that exist between healthcare providers, which can cause errors in cognitive reasoning and the faulty synthesis of information.

More specifically, the notes taken by GPs or primary healthcare providers may be inconsistent and lack important information, while specialists may be too keen to accept the initial diagnosis of a GP and fail to investigate the case fully in the event of a referral.

The Management of Medical Diagnosis Going Forward

As you can imagine, it’s technology that will play a critical role in minimising the rate of medical misdiagnosis, both in terms of the sharing of patient data and the tests used to classify disease.

In the case of the former, electronic records are increasingly being used to provide a seamless flow of patient data, which such datasets available in real-time to a number of different healthcare providers throughout the NHS.

Similar technology is being used to manage patient flows in and out of specific departments, which ensures that doctors are able to prioritise patient care and spend as much time diagnosing conditions as possible.

With brain injury claims also on the rise, it has been revealed that the traditional methods used to diagnose certain neurological cancers are deeply flawed.

This has led to an increase in the number of patients being misdiagnosed, leading to issues of ineffective treatment and higher mortality rates.

New tests have been developed to look closely at tumour cells’ molecular profiles, however, and it has been suggested that the widespread adaptation of this methodology could improve patient care going forward.

This can help to reduce the rate of misdiagnosis in the future, while also reducing the volume of negligence claims and creating a scenario where errors are largely confined to gaps in knowledge and understanding.


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