By Paul Wiefels
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that as many as 160,000 patients each year suffer permanent damage or death as a result of diagnostic mistakes. Not surprisingly, they are also the leading cause of malpractice claims. Healthcare providers have been striving to reduce this number and many of the latest developments in healthcare technology are aimed at this problem including better automation and accuracy in lab testing; the use of big data and data mining to spot patterns of bad calls; online services that provide additional suggestions for differential diagnoses; and so on.
Mindsets in the healthcare community are changing too. Clinicians are being trained (or retrained) to question their own biases and thinking in an effort to come to the right conclusions when confronted with conflicting data and multiple opinions.