Pediatricians Commonly Misdiagnose Kids
Half of Doctors Acknowledge Monthly Diagnostic Errors
Electronic Records: ‘No Silver Bullet’ continued...
“It is clear to me after studying this issue that there is not going to be a single silver bullet that does away with diagnostic errors,” he says. “We will need multifaceted interventions to tackle the problem.”
Newman-Toker says it is no big surprise that the diagnostic errors are common in pediatric medicine, just as they are in general medicine.
In a commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last year, Newman-Toker and Johns Hopkins colleague Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, write that diagnostic errors result in as many as 40,000 to 80,000 hospital deaths each year in the United States.
“I would think the risk of a fatal misdiagnosis is lower in children, because children have far fewer life-threatening medical conditions,” he says.
He adds that parents or caregivers who think their child’s illness has been misdiagnosed should never hesitate to discuss their concerns with the child’s physician.
Singh and Singhal agree.
“Families and caregivers know their children best,” Singhal says. “If they don’t understand the diagnosis or have concerns, it is important to talk to the pediatrician.”