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Communication With Doctor Is Critical

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The realities of the medical industry, make it very difficult for doctors to spend a lot of time with their patients. However, the failue of a doctor to take the necessary time to communicate with a patient and vice-versa can lead to misdiagnosis and other problems. A recent study suggests that patients voice their opinions during visits with doctors and bring family members to the visits to help process the information that is being discussed with the doctor. Take an active role in your care.

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday, reviewed 307 closed medical malpractice claims, 181 of which allegedly involved diagnostic errors that ended up harming patients. A large majority of those cases involved various types of cancer.

While researchers acknowledged that most claims involved several factors, they said major ones included mistakes by doctors: failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests (100 cases); failure to create a proper follow-up plan (81); failure to obtain an adequate history or perform an adequate physical examination (76); and incorrect interpretation of tests (67).

The study confirmed that communication is a critical issue in dealing with patient diagnosis.