1 in 20 Patients are Estimated to be Misdiagnosed
Medical misdiagnosis is a huge problem! It is important to understand that misdiagnosis is not limited to hospitals – misdiagnosis routinely occurs in outpatient settings as well.
It is estimated that 12 million outpatients are misdiagnosed annually in the US.
Hundreds of millions of patients seek outpatient care annually, so a 5% misdiagnosis rate doesn’t seem too bad – that is until you realize this means millions and millions of patients are misdiagnosed. 10-15% of patients are estimated to be misdiagnosed in a hospital setting.
Of the 12 million patients that are misdiagnosed in outpatient care, it is estimated that over half will have severe or deadly complications as a result. This statistic far exceeds those that are misdiagnosed in hospital settings, arguably due to the fact that the misdiagnosed patient is simply sent home without continued monitoring or care, in contrast to patients misdiagnosed in a hospital setting.
As a patient receiving outpatient care, it is important to monitor your symptoms, discuss your history and communicate with your healthcare provider. Unfortunately, regardless of your thoroughness and due diligence, misdiagnosis can still occur. Outpatient facilities can be overwhelmed with tight schedules and resources, and as a result patients pay the ultimate price. Follow your ‘gut’ so to speak; if you feel you have been misdiagnosed seek a second, third, fourth and fifth opinion if necessary.
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