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Informed Healthcare
Consumer ® Tip

The National Academies Report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, recognized that diagnostic errors – – inaccurate or delayed diagnoses – –  persist throughout all settings of care and continue to harm an unacceptable number of patients.  The Report concluded that most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.  Despite the pervasiveness of diagnostic errors and the risk for serious patient harm, diagnostic errors have been largely unappreciated within the quality and patient safety movements in health care.  Without a dedicated focus on improving diagnosis, these errors likely will worsen as the delivery of health care and the diagnostic process continue to increase in complexity.  Box 4-4 of the Report contains a Checklist for Getting the Right Diagnosis which may serve as a useful resource for patients.  See National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2015, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, Washington, DC, The National Academies Press.

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