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Biggest Threat to Patient Safety in Hospitals: Misdiagnosis by Doctors

by Tanya Thomas on  September 12, 2010 at 10:45 AM Hospital News   - G J E 4
The central cause of avoidable harm to patients in hospitals, in a senior UK doctor's opinion, is diagnostic error.
 Biggest Threat to Patient Safety in Hospitals: Misdiagnosis by Doctors
Biggest Threat to Patient Safety in Hospitals: Misdiagnosis by Doctors
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Gordon Caldwell, a consultant physician at Worthing Hospital in Western Sussex, argued that doctors need better facilities and sufficient time to make a correct diagnosis.

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When a patient is admitted to hospital, the team of doctors formulate a "working diagnosis," he explained.

At this point, the diagnosis is uncertain but the patient is treated as if the working diagnosis is correct.

"If over the next few days the patient gets better, the working diagnosis is confirmed and becomes the diagnosis," he said.

However, if the patient does not improve, "we think again and consider whether the working diagnosis was wrong."

He warned: "The time taken to reach the correct diagnosis may critically impact on the patient's chances of survival. Over my career, I have seen many errors in the working diagnosis causing harm and even death to patients."

Little consideration seems to have been given to how doctors make and refine the working diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient, he adds. "We must allow clinicians enough time to be careful in diagnosis, treatment planning and treatment review."

Caldwell said that the profession has failed to let our patients and society know about this very important problem.

He concluded: "We must design our working spaces and information systems to maximise doctors' ability to see, understand, and deliberate on the information needed for more precise diagnosis.

"We must allow clinicians enough time to be careful in diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment review.

"We must urgently consider how to provide rooms, time, and information for doctors to do the most difficult part of their job and the part most prone to error: the clinical thinking in making the working diagnosis and treatment plan."

The study appears on bmj.com.

Source: ANI
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i suffered a car accident [whiplash] my neck after some weeks swelled up after some four months i became seriously ill,i had blood tests and biopsies etc.i was refused medical treatment,[doctor says "waiting for heamatologist report"]after six months i threatened the doctor i will go to a newspaper as what that is , is nothing short of legalised murder etc ,he got scared called for ambulance,at the hospital i was told i would not survive the night etc, i did ! the heamatologist at singleton hospital told me to keep quiet about his mistake or else !!!? so dr salamat still works as a heamatologist. me ? i do not trust the system !
psimin Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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