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Frequent diagnostic errors in outpatient facilities

You expect to receive the best possible care when you are at the hospital. However, you cannot get the treatment that you need if your doctor does not give you the right diagnosis. Diagnostic errors are the most common type of medical error in outpatient care centers, which means that it can actually be pretty difficult to find out what is going on.

Going to the doctor in California should not should not be scary, but it certainly can be when you are worried that a health care professional might miss important details. This is a valid fear, too. Even if it appears that a doctor is doing everything possible to get the right answers, mistakes can -- and do -- happen at every step of the way.

Diagnostic errors in outpatient facilities

Whether you need simple, same-day care or are undergoing a minor medical procedure, you will probably end up at an outpatient care facility. It is important that both you and your doctor understand your illness or diagnosis when undergoing any type of treatment. Unfortunately, you might not get the right answer when getting outpatient care. Diagnostic testing errors account for 47% of adverse patient events in these facilities.

Running tests on patients is an important part of the diagnosing process. Outpatient care settings usually quickly process especially high volumes of diagnostic tests. But evaluating the results of a diagnostic test is a complicated process, so processing high numbers of tests in relatively short periods of time leaves plenty of room for mistakes.

There can be more than one mistake

Diagnostic testing is much more than just ordering a test. First, your doctor has to evaluate your symptoms before ordering the correct test. You could end up taking the wrong test if he or she misinterprets or overlooks some of those symptoms. Unfortunately, there are still more opportunities for errors after this.

Either your doctor, a nurse or other medical professional has to collect your sample, correctly label it and deliver it to the lab. Then, a lab technician has to correctly process the sample and give the results to your doctor, who will evaluate the results. Even a small mistake during any of these steps can lead doctors to making the wrong diagnosis.

Diagnostic errors are devastating

Many illnesses and injuries require specific medical treatments. A patient who receives either the wrong treatment or none at all may get worse very quickly. This means more rounds of testing, more opportunities for errors and more time without the right treatment plan or medication.

You deserved better when you were receiving outpatient care. The health care workers who were treating you should have given you the correct diagnosis and then provided the right course of treatment. Now you are suffering and dealing with even more medical bills. Getting the compensation you deserve is important not just for your health, but also for your emotional and financial well being. It is important to take action in a timely manner, so be sure to speak with a California attorney who is familiar with pursuing compensation for diagnostic errors.

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2055 Woodside Rd., Suite 155
Redwood City, CA 94061

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