Tags: Health Topics | diagnosis | misdiagnosed | cancer | health

20 Percent Misdiagnosed, Analysis Finds

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By    |   Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017 03:48 PM

It pays to get a second opinion — that's clear to more than 20 percent of patients who were misdiagnosed by their primary care physicians, determined after they obtained a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic. That's the upshot of analysis of a group of people who sought second opinions for various conditions.

Twelve percent of the people who asked specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to review their cases had received correct diagnoses, the study found. The rest received diagnoses that were considered to be partly accurate with the conclusions of the Mayo doctors' evaluations.

The right diagnosis can be the difference between life and death: According to previous research cited in the new study, errors “contribute to approximately 10 percent of patient deaths” and “account for 6 to 17 percent of adverse events in hospitals.” Sobering statistics, for sure.

“Diagnostic error is an area where we need more research, more study and more information,” said James Naessens, a professor of health services research at the Mayo Clinic, who led the study. “The second opinion is a good approach for certain patients to figure out what's there and to keep costs down.” The human factor is important to remember as well — wherever humans are involved, mistakes will be made.

For the analysis, 286 patients had their cases reviewed after seeing their primary care physicians in 2009 and 2010. About two-thirds were younger than 64, and there were were females than males.

Researchers said these second opinions are especially important whenever a patient has a serious condition, such as cancer. When it comes to saving lives, additional advice can be key, they added.

With or without the help of their initial provider, those in the study sought additional advice from the Mayo Clinic's internal medicine department. That makes the group somewhat different from the general population, Naessens said, because their conditions were serious enough to merit another look.

The Mayo Clinic's research was published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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It pays to get a second opinion — that's clear to more than 20 percent of patients who were misdiagnosed by their primary care physicians, determined after they obtained a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic.
diagnosis, misdiagnosed, cancer, health
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2017-48-11
Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017 03:48 PM
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