Call for better reporting of medical diagnosis errors

According to a recent BBC news article (20 September 2009 – see below) a review published recently in the American Journal of Medicine, about misdiagnosis in developed countries, suggested that up to 15% of all cases could be misdiagnosed.

Two of Britain’s leading authorities on misdiagnosis told BBC Scotland they believed this figure of 15% applied to the NHS, and much more needed to be done to reduce it.

Patient charity Action Against Medical Accidents (AAMA) has called for a change in the law to make reporting of misdiagnoses a mandatory requirement of doctors.

AAMA chief executive Peter Walsh said: “We have 4,000 inquiries a year and of those in primary care a large proportion, perhaps about 50% of cases, involve misdiagnosis of some sort.

“We see no reason why it shouldn’t be a legal requirement on healthcare organisations, including general practices, to report incidents that go wrong in healthcare, including incidents of misdiagnosis.

“It’s ridiculous that we get so few reports when we know there are significant numbers of this going on already.”

Read the full BBC news article here.

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