Common Sources of Misdiagnosis and Medical Errors By John Macfarlane on March 20, 2023

Stethoscope and medical chartsMisdiagnosis and medical errors can have devastating consequences for patients. Mistakes can result in physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial losses. When misdiagnoses and errors result from substandard medical care, patients may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

The medical misdiagnosis lawyers at Younker Hyde Macfarlane in Salt Lake City, Utah, understand the damages patients face when medical professionals fail to deliver the accepted standard of care. They work with clients to pursue compensation when common sources of misdiagnosis and medical errors leave them with injuries and other losses.

Fragmented Care and Miscommunication

Many patients receive fragmented medical care, which means they report to several different practitioners or specialists rather than seeing one doctor. Each medical professional may order tests, prescribe medication, or provide treatment. Often with fragmented medical care, no single doctor gets a complete depiction of the patient’s health. Fragmented medical care increases the risk of misdiagnosis and other medical errors.

The risks of fragmented medical care are heightened by miscommunication. When medical professionals fail to share vital information about patient symptoms, testing, medication, or treatment, the patient fails to receive the comprehensive care necessary for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Inexperience or Overconfidence

Inexperience can lead to several medical errors, including:

  • Failure to recognize symptoms of potential conditions
  • Failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests
  • Failure to correctly read test results

Inexperience is a concern, but overconfidence can also lead to errors. Sometimes experienced doctors make errors because they make diagnoses with inadequate evidence. They mistakenly believe their knowledge and experience are sufficient to make diagnoses and treatment decisions.

Lack of Time with Patients

Doctors often spend little time with patients because they have multiple patients to see in a limited time. Rushed appointments leave medical professionals without enough time to discuss the patient’s medical history, listen to reported symptoms, order or perform appropriate diagnostic testing, or thoroughly review test results. In turn, misdiagnosis and medical errors can occur.

Failure to Order Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing is essential to correctly identify a patient’s illness and determine the appropriate treatment. Failure to order diagnostic tests can result in prolonged suffering, ineffective treatment, and additional medical expenses for the patient. Some reasons that medical professionals may fail to order appropriate diagnostic tests include:

  • Inexperience
  • Overconfidence
  • Lack of access to testing
  • Medical insurance restraints

Lack of Follow-Up

Even if patients receive appropriate diagnostic testing, it is ineffective without follow-up. Medical professionals must check in with patients regarding test results. Additional tests should be ordered, if necessary. Medical professionals should also follow up regarding any new side effects, responses to prescribed medication and treatment, and any changes to the patient’s care plan.

Contact Us

Misdiagnosis and medical errors are often the results of medical malpractice. If you have suffered physical, emotional, or financial losses due to substandard medical care, the attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane can assist you in filing a medical malpractice claim. To discuss your case with our legal team, send us a message online or call our Salt Lake City law firm at (801) 335-6467.

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Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in complex cases. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, with a special focus on medical malpractice claims. Our firm is associated with the following professional organizations:

  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (801) 335-6467.

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