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What is a diagnostic error in the medical field?

As a patient, you always want to receive the highest level of care. Doing so puts you in position to feel good about your overall level of health.

Unfortunately, there are times when medical professionals make mistakes. Depending on the type of error, this could lead to additional health concerns.

Are you familiar with the term diagnostic error? In short, this is nothing more than a diagnosis that is delayed, missed or wrong for any reason.

Unfortunately, a diagnostic error occurs more frequently than many people believe. Furthermore, this has the potential to cause serious harm. Here are some telling statistics shared by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine:

-- Diagnostic errors happen approximately 5 to 15 percent of the time.

-- One study shows that diagnostic errors account for 17 percent of adverse events.

-- In medical malpractice claims involving a fatality, diagnostic errors are the number one allegation at 26 percent.

-- Diagnostic errors are the top cause of claims in ambulatory care, as well as number two in hospital settings.

While it's good to understand the seriousness of a diagnostic error, there's something you need to keep in mind: There is no way to guarantee that you never become a victim of this type of mistake.

The best thing you can do is receive care from top notch medical professionals. Along with this, keep a close eye on everything your medical team is doing.

If you still find yourself a victim of a diagnostic error, learn more about the impact on your health as well as your legal rights for receiving compensation from the negligent party.

Source: Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, "Improving Diagnostic Accuracy in Medicine," accessed April 07, 2017

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