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Malpractice lawsuits are teaching medical professionals lessons about misdiagnosis—and improving healthcare in the process—a Wall Street Journal blog reports.

“By analyzing the breakdowns in care that led to missed, delayed or incorrect diagnoses,” the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Landro writes, “insurers and health-care providers are developing programs to avert mistakes,” such as efforts to use technology to alert doctors to order lab tests, remind them to follow up on those tests, and “close the loop” with specialists to whom they refer patients.

Some disturbing statistics from the blog post make it clear why programs to reduce misdiagnosis are urgently necessary:

  • Diagnostic errors account for most—up to 40 percent—of malpractice lawsuits.
  • A Johns Hopkins University researcher estimates that such errors kill 40,000 to 80,000 hospital patients a year.
  • Cases related to misdiagnosis seem to be increasing, says a vice president of a malpractice insurer; primary-care doctors, he says, are staggering under heavy case loads, cutting corners and sometimes failing to respond to patients’ symptoms.

If you believe you have been misdiagnosed, contact Hodes Milman Liebeck for a free case evaluation. We’re aggressive personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers based in Orange County, serving all of California. We have the experience to take on the medical industry and have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts for our clients. Call us toll-free at 866-730-1976 or submit the contact form via our website, www.hodesmilman.com.