• Malpractice Lawyers

    Posted on September 10th, 2010

    Written by sslates

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    There’s plenty that Arizona medical malpractice lawyers and patient safety advocates can advise to prevent medical and medication errors.  However, there are other equally deadly errors that sometimes seem to stay under the public radar.  We’re talking about diagnostic errors, and according to the New York Times, these error rates average about 10% across all conditions.

    The topic of diagnostic errors is being brought up by Doctor Robert Wachter, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.  Writing in the journal Health Affairs, Doctor Wachter bemoans the strange lack of attention paid to diagnostic errors in the entire political debate generated over American healthcare.  According to him, diagnostic errors are not getting their place in the sun, not because these don’t occur often.  In fact, these are widely prevalent in American hospitals as any Arizona doctor malpractice lawyer will tell you.

    However, unlike medical errors that can be fixed more easily by using simple and established measures, it is much harder to fix diagnostic errors.  You can train physicians to diagnose conditions better, but the improvements can be intangible.  It’s not like preventing hospital-acquired infections, where there are a series of steps you can take-improving hand washing rates, increasing hygiene, and using a checklist-that can give you solid and tangible results.  Diagnostic errors are a somewhat gray area, but there should be no mistaking the devastating impact they have.

    In fact, according to Doctor Wachter, all this attention on improving patient care could be fruitless if we don’t focus on diagnosing the disease right in the first place.  Too often, patients are treated for the wrong condition, merely because doctors want it to seem like they began treatment right away.

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    This entry was posted on Friday, September 10th, 2010 at 9:05 am and is filed under Malpractice Lawyers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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