Diagnostic Errors Appear to Be Reduced with Technology-Based Improvements

Diagnostic errors can stem from failure to diagnose or giving the wrong diagnosis. Recent analysis of existing evidence by researchers at Stanford University found that diagnostic mistakes may be reduced with technological aids such as electronic alerts. 

This is just one of many different technological aids that could be useful in preventing a missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis according to the study, which appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

The researchers reviewed 109 studies examining diagnostic errors and various interventions, 32 of them addressed technology-based system interventions, while others addressed: 

  • personnel changes;
  • educational interventions;
  • technique;
  • structured process change; and
  • review methods.  

The researchers found that “[e]vidence was strongest for technology-based systems…and specific techniques.” 

Common Reasons for a Diagnostic Error 

With or without technology, there are oftentimes common reasons for a diagnostic error to happen. One is that the condition might be rare, or it’s a new disease about which not much is known. 

Further, in some cases symptoms are dismissed or not taken very seriously by physicians. Some doctors may even attribute physical symptoms with stress or psychological problems (such as depression). 

Oftentimes the symptoms the patient is complaining about are found in more than one condition. Although this can make diagnosis more complicated for physicians, there are usually ways to rule out diseases and illnesses; for instance, performing specific tests. 

No matter what the cause, when a patient suffers serious injuries because the physician fails to provide a diagnosis or the wrong diagnosis is given, it could lead to filing a claim seeking compensation for damages caused by the misdiagnosis. To go over your case and discuss whether compensation may be available, contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates: 800-246-4878.

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