Thursday, September 24, 2015

Preventing Medical Errors

Medical errors will happen. As Arlene Weintraub notes in Forbes, "Doctors Are Screwing Up Diagnoses -- And Patients Should Speak Out".

An excerpt:
The authors of the IOM report identify several possible methods for encouraging patients to get more involved in their diagnoses. First, they suggest that the act of diagnosis should no longer be treated as a solitary task that takes place mostly inside a single clinician’s brain—but rather as a team effort that includes patients and their families. To achieve that, the authors admit, the entire culture of the healthcare system needs to change to one that welcomes patient feedback...
I personally think that patient should obtain their own personal copies any important medical records (including radiology studies on CT, pathology reports, etc.) in case they wish to review them at home or in consultation with an independent physician.

And overall, patients should treat physicians as advisors -- but not infallible authorities.