Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are among the leading reasons behind a significant percentage of medical malpractice claims.
Physicians should follow the right diagnostic process to offer standard care, but some fail to do so. This guide discusses why diagnostic errors often occur.
1. Not paying attention to the patient
Doctors have gone through years of training to practice, which makes them reliable. However, the human body is complex. A patient can have symptoms doctors were not taught. This is why they need to pay attention to every complaint or symptom a patient says they have.
Not paying attention to a patient can lead to diagnostic errors, as a doctor may overlook a symptom or fail to ask questions to get more information. The symptoms of some diseases are almost similar, with minor differences. A doctor should take note of everything a patient says to identify the difference.
2. Not spending enough time with a patient
Doctors can be busy, especially those in understaffed hospitals. And to serve all patients, they may have limited time with each. However, this can be harmful since they won’t have enough time to learn of a patient’s symptoms and, in turn, develop a full medical history. This can lead to failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis.
3. Errors in test or lab results
At times, a doctor may make a diagnostic error because of a mistake that occurred in the lab. The use of faulty equipment and human error can lead to lab mistakes. However, in some instances, the test or lab results can be correct, but the doctor may misread them.
Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis can lead to significant consequences. If you experienced this medical malpractice type, you should consider your options to protect your rights.