The Implication of Diagnostic Errors

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Diagnostic errors are mistakes in the diagnostic process that lead to a misdiagnosis, a missed diagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis. While the past decade’s impetus to improve patient safety has focused on medication errors, health care–associated infections, and postsurgical complications, diagnostic errors have received comparatively less attention. Diagnostic errors will continue to play a major role in the patient safety and quality improvement movement because of their burden on care and their financial burden. Developing a patient-partnered diagnostic approach with self-reflection and awareness of cognitive biases is the key to minimizing the impact of diagnostic errors.

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