Houston Matters

Why Do Diagnosis Mistakes Happen, and How Can They Be Prevented?

We trust our doctors. We let them poke us and prod us. They give us shots. They see us naked. We entrust to them our medical history and share personal details about our lives in the hopes it leads to the best possible care. But doctors are also human, and they make mistakes. A new […]

We trust our doctors. We let them poke us and prod us. They give us shots. They see us naked. We entrust to them our medical history and share personal details about our lives in the hopes it leads to the best possible care. But doctors are also human, and they make mistakes.

A new report says most people will experience at least one diagnostic error (an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis) sometime in their lifetimes. It warns that — without some changes — our healthcare system could see more such errors in diagnoses, which could be bad news for you and me.

Two Texas Medical Center researchers testified on the matter recently, and they join us. Dr. Eric Thomas is the director of the UTHealth Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety. And Dr. Hardeep Singh is chief of the Health Policy, Quality & Informatics Program at the Center of Innovation at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

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