A study by BMJ Quality & Safety found that the rate of misdiagnosis made by doctors in outpatients is at least as high as 1 in 20 such patients. Outpatients are patients cared for by a hospital without being admitted for an inpatient stay.
The information is provided by research conducted by Dr. Hardeep Singh and medical researcher Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Texas, who is an associate professor at Paylor College and Medicine Safety. Dr. Singh based his findings on data obtained after conducting numerous studies. This helped him analyze the rate of medical misdiagnoses in outpatient cases. Dr. Singh's research found misdiagnosis in lung and colorectal cancer patients, as well as in primary care. Misdiagnosis is defined as when a patient exhibits clear symptoms that have not been properly identified or for which appropriate treatment has not been recommended. Dr. Singh said, "Misdiagnosis occurs when there was a significant missed opportunity to make a timely correct diagnosis based on the information available at the time."
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