Think about this for a minute…imagine a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing every day for a year!!! How alarming would that be? That is how many people die a year from a misdiagnosis! 12 Million Americans are Misdiagnosed every year and 40,000 to 80,000 people are dying from a misdiagnosis. These errors are preventable!!
What is the definition of a diagnosis? The process of determining by examination the nature and circumstances of a diseased condition. The decision reached from such an examination. (cited from dictionary.com)
So, a misdiagnosis is the failure to establish an accurate and/or timely explanation of the patients health problem and the failure to communicate that information(diagnosis) to the patient. It is preventable and we are all part of the process in preventing this from occurring. A misdiagnosis can be several things…medication errors, delay in a diagnosis, “grey zone” problems , miscommunication, lack of coordination between physicians, inaccurate test results, lost paperwork, a wrong diagnosis, failure to diagnosis, etc. By misdiagnosing a patient, this not only delays treatment that is needed but at worst can kill you.