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Diagnostic Errors: A Public Health Emergency

Doctor with patient

According to a release from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Newsroom, research conducted jointly by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence and the Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions found that approximately “795,000 Americans die or are permanently disabled by diagnostic error each year.” These errors occur across varied care settings, from hospitals to clinics.

Prior to this report, which was published in July 2023, statistics on diagnostic error were unclear and widely ranging, from 40,000 such errors per year to 4 million. However, the researchers here used methods in this study that were able to “leverage disease-specific error and harm rates to estimate an overall total.” This approach results in a much more reliable estimate.

By the Numbers

Now What?

The US National Academy of Medicine has declared that “improving diagnosis in health care is a moral, professional, and public health imperative.”

David Newman-Toker, M.D., Ph. D., lead investigator and director of the Center for Diagnostic Excellence, claims that “disease-based solutions” that will reduce diagnostic errors already exist. He cites four innovations:

  1. Virtual patient simulators that improve clinicians’ ability to identify strokes
  2. Portable eye movement recordings that allow specialists to participate remotely and help front-line clinicians diagnose strokes
  3. Computer-based algorithms that assist in the diagnostic process
  4. Diagnostic excellence dashboards that measure performance and provide feedback for improvement

While the solutions exist, Newman-Toker also recognizes the need to invest in further research and training efforts to reduce the permanent disabilities and deaths that occur as a result of diagnostic errors.

Medical Misdiagnosis and The Eisen Law Firm

Unfortunately, we are very familiar with medical misdiagnosis cases. These cases can result in catastrophic injuries that did not need to happen. We partner with you to help you receive the compensation you need and deserve due to someone else’s negligence. We will guide you through the legal process and be prepared to take your case to trial should that be necessary. We only take a few cases every year, so that we can spend the time needed to properly work on your case. Our results show prove we have the expertise, knowledge, and ability to help clients hurt by misdiagnosis.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a medical misdiagnosis, do not hesitate to contact our experienced Cleveland malpractice lawyers to discuss your options for legal recourse and for obtaining the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free consultation, call 216-287-0900 or contact us online today.