Inaccurate or delayed diagnoses resulted in 34 percent of malpractice cases involving serious harm

July 15, 2019

The Society for Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) has released new research that found inaccurate or delayed diagnoses are the most common, most catastrophic and most costly of medical errors.

The SIDM-funded study, published in the journal Diagnosis, found that about one in three (34 percent) of malpractice cases resulting in serious harm is due to an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis.

Researchers also found that 74 percent of inaccurate or delayed diagnoses that result in permanent disability or death are attributable to three disease categories: cancer, vascular events and infections.

Improving diagnosis in medicine is a priority said the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which reported the study. AHRQ says it is working with SIDM and others in the field to apply evidence-based patient safety strategies, predictive analytics, personalized and precision medicine and new technologies at the point of care.