Unfortunately, medical misdiagnosis can happen at any time. The majority of the population depends on their GP or healthcare provider to find the solution to their illness. They are the first point of contact that can help us treat and manage most health conditions.
However, the unfortunate truth is that not all of these practices get it right the first time around. For the most part, reliable professionals can accurately determine what is wrong and treat it or suggest medication, but other times they can get it wrong, which could lead to disastrous consequences for both the patient as well as the professionals themselves.
According to the data provided by Gadsby Wicks, medical misdiagnosis can be a common occurrence, and over 30% of patients stated their health suffered due to the treatment or surgery of a misdiagnosed condition. So, what is this concept? We give you some insight below.
A Medical Misdiagnosis
In its simplest explanation, when a healthcare expert fails to accurately recognize a certain health condition or disease that has damaging effects on a patient it is known as a misdiagnosis. Surgeons, doctors, and nurses are amongst the medical professionals whom patients go to seek advice and treatment regularly. They are expected to find the problem and provide a suitable treatment solution(s).
A misdiagnosis can fall into three broad categories:
A Late diagnosis: when there is a delay in determining the patient’s condition, which has a direct impact on the treatment, causing the patient’s condition to worsen and minimising the prospects of recovery.
A Failed diagnosis: when the patient’s condition is completely missed and they receive no treatment at all.
An Incorrect Diagnosis: this happens when the existing injury or illness is incorrectly diagnosed, which can also cause delays in treatment, some of which can lead to potentially damaging circumstances.
The Diagnostic Process
There is no doubt that the human body is complex machinery and it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of your injury or illness, and for the most part, the GPs get it right. However, there are cases where doctors don’t abide by the medical diagnostic process standards and follow the right steps, in which case many patients seek claims for this.
When an analysis is precise and actioned on time, a patient has the most optimal opportunity for a desired health outcome. It is the foundation of every decision afterwards, so that the patient receives the best care.
When claiming for a misdiagnosis, there are few things to note for it to be considered viable:
- First, a patient experiences a health condition or injury
- Then they may consider visiting their health practitioner
- Once they are with their GP there is a process of gathering the relevant information, and conducting a thorough medical examination
- The diagnostic evidence can be gathered at different times and in different ways
- Communication between the GP and the patient, or their family members is of significant importance at this stage
- Once the healthcare professional is satisfied they have all the information they need, they proceed to diagnose it and find the suitable treatment option(s)
The goal of gathering all the information is to reduce uncertainty. When these experts lack to do this, it can lead to a misdiagnosis.
*Photo by National Cancer Institute