Patients in Illinois may be concerned about the danger of a mistaken diagnosis or the failure to diagnose a serious disease like cancer, especially if they have an undiagnosed illness or are preparing to enter the hospital. There can be significant consequences to a person’s health if they are misdiagnosed; when people receive incorrect treatment or fail to receive treatment at all, especially for a progressive disease, their health condition may worsen dramatically and the results could even be fatal. Reducing diagnostic errors is a key priority for health care facilities that want to protect themselves and provide the highest quality of patient care.
Between 6 and 28 percent of all reports from bone density tests performed with ultrasound or dual-energy X-ray (DEXA) radiology contain at least one data entry error. While these errors are often minor, they could carry more significant impacts if these errors are relied upon by physicians when making a diagnosis that could later prove to be incorrect. A study has shown that the use of data entry software by radiology departments can reduce the number of diagnostic errors and mistakes in ultrasound or DEXA reports. The software can also help hospitals to save money; the study also showed that a health care facility could save $1 million in radiologists’ wages over a five-year period.
Misinformation in radiology reports can lead to lawsuits when patient care is degraded as a result, especially due to mistakes or misdiagnosis. More significantly, patients can experience worsened medical conditions, lengthy hospital stays or further development of their disease.
Patients who have been misdiagnosed may suffer severe effects as a result of this type of medical error. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to help people whose health has suffered due to a doctor’s mistake to determine the next steps they can take to seek compensation for harm done.