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Radiology software can reduce diagnostic errors

| Apr 6, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

Patients in New Jersey going to the doctor or entering the hospital may be worried about misdiagnosis or the potential failure to diagnose a serious disease like cancer; this is especially true if their illness is currently undiagnosed. Incorrect diagnoses and other doctor errors can lead to serious consequences for patients as mistaken treatment can be applied, causing side effects. Then, the correct treatment may not be received, which of particular concern in the case of progressive diseases. Misdiagnosis can lead to worsened medical conditions and even fatalities if illnesses become untreatable.

The dangers posed by misdiagnosis highlight the importance of reducing diagnostic errors for hospitals. Maintaining excellent patient care and reducing liability exposure both require curbing incorrect diagnoses. When bone density scans are performed using ultrasound or dual-energy X-ray radiology, between 6 and 28 percent of all reports from these tests contain some form of error. While many of these errors are simple or minor, they could carry severe consequences for patients if a physician relies upon them when making a diagnosis. The use of data entry software in radiology departments can lead to a significant reduction in diagnostic errors.

In addition to improving patient diagnosis, software can also help hospitals save money and time. A study indicated that while installing the software has a startup cost, over a five-year period, a hospital could save up to $1 million in radiologists’ wages due to the time savings produced by using data entry software. For patients, the most significant issue is the potential to prevent misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment.

Patients who have been incorrectly diagnosed and whose health has suffered as a result may wish to consult with a medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer may provide guidance about the potential to move a case forward to seek compensation for the damages caused by misdiagnosis.