Misdiagnosis: Leading Cause of Malpractice Lawsuits

misdiagnosisDoctors are turning to computer technology in an effort to cure the medical misdiagnosis problem.

Wrongly identifying an illness — or missing a condition altogether — is one of the most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits. According to a new story in the Wall Street Journal, medical professionals are using computer technology hone their diagnostic skills. Researchers say that information technology can help organize, interpret and share data.

The story cites examples such as the hospital in Pennsylvania that uses a computer program to track diagnostic errors. The hope is that doctors can analysis such a database and learn lessons from the information. The computer program would track patient’s hospital stays and flag those that seem out of the ordinary, such as a quick return to the emergency department or a sudden transfer to the intensive care unit. Doctors can look at these cases more closely to find out what went wrong.

Doctors are also utilizing the growing field of artificial intelligence. The Human Diagnosis Project is an interactive, collaborative online program where physicians from around the world can analyze medical cases. They can share observations and experiences concerning particular illnesses. The program uses machine learning to integrate information.


Misdiagnosis not Uncommon


According to researchers, primary care doctors often overlook or misdiagnose a variety of fairly common conditions. These include infections, cancer, and pneumonia. Experts say causes for such mistakes include poor record reviews, incomplete examinations and histories, and incomplete lab work.

In fact, the consequences for medical misdiagnosis can be tragic for the patient. Many forms of cancer are treatable if caught early enough. However, if a doctor does not order the right tests, or if the results are not interpreted the right way, then the cancer can spread. In many cases, patients who would have been cured or had their disease managed can wind up with limited treatment options and an uncertain future.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Martinez Manglardi have been helping victims of medical misdiagnosis in Florida for nearly 30 years. We serve Orlando, ApopkaOrange County, Seminole County, Lake CountyPolk CountyKissimmeeOsceola County, Palm Bay, Brevard County, Ocala as well as other cities and counties throughout Florida. Call 407-846-2240 for a free consultation.





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