Physicians dismissing patients' knowledge linked to diagnostic errors, study finds

Researchers analyzed instances of diagnostic errors submitted by patients and their families and found 224 cases of problematic physician behavior, according to study published in Health Affairs.

Here are three things to know:

1. For the study, researchers read adverse event reports submitted by patients and patient families from January 2010 to February 2016. Researchers analyzed about 184 different narratives detailing diagnostic errors and found problems relating to how physicians interacted with patients.

2. From the data, researchers identified 224 instances of problematic behavior, which included physicians ignoring patients' knowledge, disrespecting patients, not communicating with patients and manipulating or actively deceiving patients.

3. The authors said considering patients' perspectives can give physicians a more comprehensive understanding of why diagnostic errors occur and help them develop better strategies to prevent them.

"Health systems should develop and implement formal programs to collect patients' experiences with the diagnostic process and use these data to promote an organizational culture that strives to reduce harm from diagnostic error," the authors concluded.

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