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Diagnostic Errors in Medicine: Physician Perspectives Survey


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Best Doctors conducted an informal poll of our selected Best Doctors Experts to gauge their opinions on diagnostic accuracy and error. The aggregate results of all 630 respondents are available here, providing interesting insight into physicians' attitudes on diagnostic accuracy.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Diagnostic Errors in Medicine: Physician Perspectives Survey

  1. 1. Conducted by Best Doctors Physician Perspectives Survey Measuring physician attitudes on diagnostic error and accuracy
  2. 2. Respondents by Specialty 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Allergy and Immunology Anatomic Pathology Anesthesiology Cardiovascular Disease Child Neurology Clinical Biochemical Genetics Clinical Genetics Clinical Pathology Colon and Rectal Surgery Dermatology Diagnostic Radiology Emergency Medicine Endocrinology and Metabolism Family Medicine Gastroenterology Internal Medicine Medical Oncology and… Nephrology Neurological Surgery Neurology None Nuclear Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology Ophthalmology Orthopaedic Surgery Other Otolaryngology Pediatrics Physical Medicine and… Psychiatry Pulmonary Medicine Radiation Oncology Rheumatology Surgery Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery Urology Vascular Surgery
  3. 3. Relative to the many other types of adverse patient outcomes, where would you rank misdiagnosis (a diagnosis that is wrong, missed, or could have been made much earlier)? 26% 45% 26% 3% An extremely important problem (341) An important problem (606) Somewhat of a problem (349) Not at all a problem (37) n: 1333
  4. 4. In your own practice, how often would you estimate 20% 7% 34% 39% Almost never At least weekly About once a month About once a year misdiagnoses occur? (276) (100) (457) (520) n: 1353
  5. 5. Of the choices below, which would you say is the most significant barrier to improving diagnostic accuracy? 35% 16% 30% 19% Fragmented or missing information across medical information systems (476) Inadequate diagnostic resources (e.g. laboratory, radiology, pathology, testing) (210) Inadequate time for patient evaluation (410) Incomplete or inaccurate medical history provided by the patient (253) n: 1349
  6. 6. Which action below would you say would MOST encourage reporting of diagnostic errors? 25% 17% 11% 30% 17% Confidential reporting/data-sharing on misdiagnosis as part of hospital accreditation (342) Establishing a national, voluntary misdiagnosis reporting system (236) Having a local champion that would encourage reporting (142) Incentives for hospitals from state and federal lawmakers to participate in confidential misdiagnosis data gathering and reporting (403) Increasing the number of national events and conferences devoted to misdiagnosis (230) n: 1353
  7. 7. Which of the following steps would be useful in improving diagnosis in your practice or hospital (choose all that apply)? 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 Establishment of a leadership board to monitor and implement system changes to improve diagnosis Providing clear diagnostic algorithms for critical conditions Having easier access to specialist consultants Education about commonly misdiagnosed conditions in my specialty Development of a secure online environment for collaboration with peers on challenging cases Computer-based diagnostic support tools (eg. Up-to-Date or online tools to help with differential diagnosis like Isabel or DXplain) (263) (501) (278) (923) (418) (369) n: 2752