Patient Safety | 01.30.24
Medical Mistakes Are More Likely in Women and Minorities
NBC News (01/15/24) Szabo, Liz
Approximately 12 million adults misdiagnosed every year in the United States. In a recently published study in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that almost 25% of hospital patients who died or were transferred to intensive care last year had experienced a diagnostic error. Nearly 18% of misdiagnosed patients were harmed or died. In total, nearly 795,000 patients a year die or are permanently disabled due to misdiagnosis, according to a study published in the BMJ Quality & Safety periodical. Research has shown that some patients are at higher risk than others. Indeed, females and racial and ethnic minorities are 20% to 30% more likely than white males to experience a misdiagnosis. Dr. David Newman-Toker, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the lead author of the study, laments, "That's significant and inexcusable." Finally, he and his research team found that rates of misdiagnosis range from 1.5%of heart attacks to 17.5% of strokes to 22.5% of lung cancers.