Law Offices of Salazar, Sullivan & Jasionowski
Search
888-819-2544
Menu Contact

Study: Half of outpatient misdiagnoses could cause serious harm

In medicine, early detection is often a life saver, and in many cases, the earliest opportunity to detect an illness is not in a hospital room, but in a clinic or a doctor's office during a routine checkup. It's disturbing to think, then, that each year as many as 12 million adults in the U.S. leave a clinic or a doctor's office without having been correctly diagnosed.

That is the claim in a recent study from Houston's Baylor College of Medicine. According to researchers, one out of 20 adults who seek care in an outpatient setting is misdiagnosed each year.

Much emphasis has been placed on preventing diagnostic errors in inpatient care, but very little diagnostic data is available with regard to outpatient settings. The researchers focused on outpatient data and believe that about half of outpatient misdiagnoses could cause serious harm.

The lead author of the study said the lack of data on outpatient diagnostic errors presents a "huge vulnerability," given that the majority of medical diagnoses are made in clinics and doctors' offices.

Using the results of three prior studies, researchers analyzed roughly 3,000 medical records and extrapolated the data. Among those records, the rate of misdiagnosis was a little higher than 5 percent. Considering that each year 80 percent of adults in the U.S. receive care in an outpatient setting, that extrapolated 5 percent suggests that annually 12 million outpatients are misdiagnosed.

Clearly, widespread misdiagnosis is a problem that needs fixing.

For a separate discussion of how emergency room doctors often overlook signs of stroke, please see our post from April 15.

Source: Reuters, "About 12 million U.S. outpatients misdiagnosed annually: study," Curtis Skinner, April 17, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Salazar, Sullivan & Jasionowski today to learn more about how we can help you.

Call our firm at 505-349-4003 or toll free at 888-819-2544.

Email Us For A Response

Get Help Today

Get Help Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Map + Driving Directions
Law Offices of Salazar, Sullivan & Jasionowski

100 Gold Avenue SW, Suite 201
Albuquerque, NM 87102-3476

Toll Free: 888-819-2544
Phone: 505-349-4003
Fax: 505-314-1419
Albuquerque Law Office

888-819-2544
Review Us