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Wrong or Late Diagnosis in the American Healthcare System

Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Florida Are Here to Help

The Institute of Medicine, which is a part of the National Academy of Sciences, has conducted a recent report that shows a critical health system problem that impacts at least 12 million adults each year. Continually, more information garnered by an outside independent panel has also revealed that most Americans will receive a wrong or late diagnosis at least once in their lives. Getting the right diagnosis is central to health care- it provides an explanation of a patient’s health problem and informs all subsequent health care decisions. The diagnosis process is a complex, collaborative activity that involves clinical reasoning and information gathering to determine a patient’s health [1]. Without a proper system in place to protect the patients, the number of patients who receive a late or missed diagnosis may increase.

Major change is needed to revise the system because often, these missed or late medical issues perpetuate life altering symptoms, including but not limited to death. Improving diagnosis will require collaboration and a widespread commitment to change among health care professionals, health care organizations, patients and their families, researchers and policy makers. The suggestions from Improving Diagnosis in Health Care contribute to the growing need for change in this vital area of health care value and security. 

These suggestions include:

  • Facilitate more effective teamwork in the diagnosis procedure among health care personnel, patients and families.
  • Enhance health care professional education and schooling in the diagnostic process.
  • Ensure that health information technologies sustain patients and health care professionals in the diagnostic process.
  • Expand and deploy approaches to identify, learn from, and reduce diagnostic errors and near misses in clinical practice.
  • Create a work system and culture that supports the diagnostic process and improvements in diagnostic performance.
  • Develop a reporting environment and medical liability system that facilitates enhanced diagnosis by learning from diagnostic errors and near misses.
  • Design a payment and care delivery environment that supports the diagnostic process.*
  • Provide devoted funding for research on the diagnostic process and diagnostic errors [2].

The starred recommendation is one of the most crucial suggestions because it helps to create a culture where hospitals and doctors can feel free to admit their mistakes. Currently, doctors do not get reimbursed or paid for talking to each other. They aren’t encouraged and the American Health care system prevents doctors from communicating to each other without the incentives. This type of consultation should be paid for and given its own medical code for billing the insurance company.

Also, electronic medical records will help, if and when they ever become widely used. But there’s still not a system that ensures one hospital’s system to talk to another’s and many doctors are reluctant to use even basic electronic tools.

Medical Malpractice 

Dr. John Ball, the chairman of the Committee on Diagnostic Error in Medicine states, “The Affordable Care Act’s provisions to encourage teams to get paid for caring for patients, instead of getting reimbursed piecemeal for each test, each visit and each diagnosis, should help” [3].

Unfortunately, medical mistakes are now estimated to kill up to 440,000 people in U.S. hospitals each year, making preventable errors the third leading cause of death in American behind heart disease and cancer. Wrong doses, undetected tumors, objects left behind in patients’ bodies and missed or late diagnosis are just some of the errors that are an “everyday occurrence” in the medical community [4].

These issues that affect so many families and loved ones across America are not shy of Clearwater. In our community, you need an experience medical malpractice attorney to receive compensation for any mistakes made by medical personnel. Here at Dolman Law, we fight to bring these wrongdoers to justice. It’s absolutely unacceptable for a patient to be victim of real, clear-cut medical malpractice, and if you believe you may have a case related to this, we can help. There may be a short time window of opportunity for you to share your case, so don’t wait any longer. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Dolman Law Group has had amazing success in the past with many cases related to this and we only plan on adding to our list of impressive achievements. We’re proud to represent anyone who is a victim of unfair treatment, ignorance, negligence or simply doesn’t know what steps to take to start their legal case. Call our office for a free consultation and evaluation at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765