According to an article published in the Dark Daily, more than 5% of outpatients (over 12 million people) are misdiagnosed annually. This is a staggering number, especially when you think about the advancements in medicine, healthcare technology, and research. With all of the resources available to physicians and medical professionals, how is it possible that mistakes like this occur?
To give more context around how alarming this issue is, here are a few statistics mentioned in the Dark Daily article:
- 40,500 critically ill U.S. hospital patients die annually of unknown medical conditions that may have contributed to or caused death (Hopkins Medical).
- 28% of patients had at least one misdiagnosis at death, and in 8% of patient deaths these errors were so serious that they may have caused or contributed to death (BMJ Quality & Safety).
- Over a 25-year period, a study of 350,000 malpractice claims determined that misdiagnoses make up the majority of U.S. malpractice payouts – totaling over $39 billion during this period (U.S. Health News).
One incredible tool physicians have at their disposal is the lab, which has the data and experience necessary to positively impact the number of misdiagnoses that lead to death. Labs are charged with opening the eyes of providers to the resources they have available, to help stop misdiagnoses and help save lives.
Below is an infographic from the Institute of Medicine that goes more in-depth on the effects of misdiagnoses and poor patient-care in the United States: