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Medical misdiagnosis may be more common than thought

How likely are you in your lifetime to be the victim of a medical misdiagnosis? If a new study issued by the Institute of Medicine is any indication, you can say that it is a virtual certainty. And the medical profession is not interested in you finding out about it.

One of the findings of the study is that in addition to a lack of data on diagnostic errors, there exists a culture among health care practitioners that frowns upon an atmosphere of transparency and disclosure of mistakes. This problem is exasperated by the fact that although diagnosis is a collaborative effort, many medical professionals do not adequately coordinate and communicate with each other as well as with patients.

This lack of communication is partly institutional, and partly connected with what some in the profession perceive to be a punitive attitude toward disclosing medical mistakes.

The study recommends ways to improve on the exchange of information and health care records not only among medical workers but also with patients and their families, in order to foster improved communications. But until such improvements can become implemented comprehensively, it remains a distinct possibility that you can still be the unwitting subject of a mistaken diagnosis and the potential health problems that it can lead to.

If you believe that you have been the victim of a misdiagnosis error in Louisiana and have been harmed thereby, you should consult with a law firm the practice of which includes representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice actions to evaluate your potential claim for compensation.

Source: UPI, "Study: Misdiagnosis a major issue for doctors," Stephen Feller, Sept. 22, 2015

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