Burden of serious harms from diagnostic error in the USA

By David E Newman-Toker, et al.: Complete Post through this link…

Background Diagnostic errors cause substantial preventable harms worldwide, but rigorous estimates for total burden are lacking. We previously estimated diagnostic error and serious harm rates for key dangerous diseases in major disease categories and validated plausible ranges using clinical experts.

Objective We sought to estimate the annual US burden of serious misdiagnosis-related harms (permanent morbidity, mortality) by combining prior results with rigorous estimates of disease incidence.

Conclusion An estimated 795 000 Americans become permanently disabled or die annually across care settings because dangerous diseases are misdiagnosed. Just 15 diseases account for about half of all serious harms, so the problem may be more tractable than previously imagined.

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