Medical errors, no matter a clinician’s expertise or a facility’s reputation, are going to happen. A precious few are lethal, but even those that do not cause serious harm have the capacity to cripple your business when the affected patients take to social media or warn their friends and family to steer clear of your practice. A new Medscape post suggests only 1% of physicians are “master diagnosticians” who seldom make mistakes when diagnosing. The majority of the remaining 99% make mistakes they never even learn about (again, thankfully, because there’s no serious harm done). What’s really important for the urgent care operator to know is that diagnostic errors are the most prevalent cause of lawsuits—more than bad surgical outcomes or obstetric catastrophes. Missing a diagnosis of cancer, for example, has delayed care for patients and landed the providers in court. The good news is that emerging diagnostic tools can help providers improve care and reduce risk among patient presentations. Some even rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to fill in any blanks the provider could have overlooked, not only increasing the odds of correct diagnoses but also saving time and stress for the physician. Most recently, the Food and Drug Administration has approved tools to assist with diagnosis of stroke, diabetic retinopathy, and fractures.
If You’re Not Among This 1%, Consider Relying More on Diagnostic Tools