Diagnostic Delays and Errors in Head and Neck Cancer Patients: Opportunities for Improvement

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

A retrospective review of 100 sequential patients (2009-2012) with head and neck cancer was performed to determine the frequency of 5 types of diagnostic delays and errors outlined by the Institute of Medicine. There were a total of 105 diagnostic delays/errors. The most common was delay in being seen in the otolaryngology clinic after referral placement (28.6%), followed by diagnostic error by the referring physician (22%), delay in referral of a symptomatic patient to the otolaryngology clinic (16.2%), delay in employing an appropriate diagnostic test or procedure (15.2%), delay in action following reporting of pathology or imaging results for an incidental lesion (11.4%), diagnostic error by the otolaryngology clinic (2.8%), delay in action following reporting of pathology or imaging results for the symptomatic lesion (2.8%), and use of outmoded tests or therapy (1%). Increased awareness of these types of delays/errors will direct actions and processes to reduce or eliminate them.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles