Medical diagnoses often wrong in the United States

A new report issued by the Institute of Medicine showed that there was a prevalence of medical diagnosis errors in the United States because health care providers pay little attention to them.

According to IOM chairman and member of the American College of Physicians, Dr. John Ball, “patients are central to a solution”, meaning this situation could be remedied if health providers – lab workers, doctors, and nurses – make patients part of their team. Ball believes health care providers should listen to patients more attentively when they complain about feeling different than they are supposed to feel after an operation or after ingesting medication prescribed to them. Providers should also give patients a copy of their test results immediately.

For her part, National Quality Forum president Dr. Christine Cassel said should there be an instance when after consulting three doctors, the third doctor made the right diagnosis – different from the diagnosis of the two previous doctors – the third doctor should not be embarrassed to pick up a phone and tell the other two doctors, “It turned out that the patient had X and not Y”.

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