Roughly 5% of autopsies uncover a diagnostic error
that was amenable to appropriate treatment, and some 50,000 annual hospital deaths may be the result of a delayed, incorrect, or overlooked diagnosis.
A recent National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine) report on diagnostic error
has shown that our conventional autopsy reveals unexpected anatomic findings in 1 out of 4 or 5 cases.
Croskerry has similarly identified over 30 cognitive sources of diagnostic error
, and 10 basic strategies for 'cognitive debiasing' to help avoid errors.
adults who seek outpatient care each year experiencing a diagnostic error
, and diagnostic errors
accounting for 6% to 17% of hospital adverse events.
The IOM Committee on Diagnostic Error
in Health Care recommends enhancing healthcare professionals' education and lifelong competency in clinical reasoning, including laboratory medicine probabilistic reasoning skills in the application of test results to subsequent clinical decision-making, to improve diagnostic performance and reduce the potential for medical errors and near misses.
For instance, Pedigree Technologies can pull diagnostic error
codes off equipment specifically used in the transportation industry, identify what those error codes are, define them, and then present a list of suggestions to resolve the issue with the equipment.
Some of the most common medical errors are Medication Errors, such as a patient receiving the wrong drug; Surgical Error, like amputating the wrong limb; Diagnostic error
, arising out of misdiagnosis leading to an incorrect choice of therapy, failure to use an indicated diagnostic test, misinterpretation of test results, and failure to act on abnormal results.
may be responsible for billions of health-care dollars for inappropriate care, and is the leading cause of medical malpractice claims.
the leading cause of malpractice suits is diagnostic error
, which account for around 40% of cases, costing insurers an average of $300,000 per case to settle.
More specifically, deterrence failures are the results of mistakes of omission when leaders fail to recognize a threat (a diagnostic error
of detection) and/or fail to calculate and take actions to deter it (a prescriptive error of hesitation).
When products of conception were subjected to DNA fingerprinting to establish embryo origins, five abnormal gestations were traced to the procedure, including one diagnostic error
(a tetraploid embryo), one trisomy 13, one Turner's syndrome, one trisomy 21, and one healthy baby born with the opposite gender than what was predicted, through a lab error.
More recently Sonderengger-Iseli et al (22) analysed the diagnostic error
rate during three different years, each a decade apart (1972, 1982 and 1992).