Diagnostic errors survey examines frequency and cause
Patient Safety Monitor Insider
January 25, 2012
A survey conducted by QuantiaMD revealed that diagnostic errors occur with relative frequency. Of the 6,400 survey participants, consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, 47% indicated that missed, late, or wrong diagnoses occur at their practices on a monthly basis. A majority of respondents believed that errors were sometimes preventable, while 8% believed such errors were always preventable.
The survey found that atypical patient presentation, failure to consider other diagnoses, and inadequate patient history were the top contributors to diagnostic errors. "Zero tolerance" toward physician mistakes and over-testing to avoid malpractice were also cited as factors in diagnostic error.