Missed diagnoses impact emergency departments

Three diagnostic errors (misdiagnosed cancers, vascular events, and infections) accounted for nearly 75% of harm to patients and $1.8 billion in malpractice payouts. What if documentation guidance could help improve the emergency department (ED) risk profile?

The impact of missed diagnoses


Excessive stresses and strains lead to diagnostic error and potential litigation.


One-third of malpractice cases for death or permanent disability began with an errant or delayed diagnosis.


Insufficient clinical decision making has led to more than 85% of misdiagnosed cases.


Medical errors and claims are typically related to overlooking basic elements of the patient history, physical exam and monitoring.


Diagnostic errors have implications for patient care and may lead to increased medical costs.

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David E. Newman-Toker, Adam C. Schaffer, C. Winnie Yu-Moe, Najlla Nassery, Ali S. Saber Tehrani, Gwendolyn D. Clemens, Zheyu Wang, Yuxin Zhu, Mehdi Fanai and Dana Siegal, Serious misdiagnosis-related harms in malpractice claims: The “Big Three” – vascular events, infections, and cancers, 2019, De Gruyter.