March 13, 2009 Diagnostic Imaging. Second look at x-ray, CT exams could reduce diagnostic errors By James Brice Simple physician checklists, diagnostic decision-support systems, or second looks at medical imaging exams could help to reduce the estimated 40,000 to 80,000 hospital deaths in the U.S. from diagnostic errors. Writing for the March 11 Journal of the American Medical Association, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine physicians Dr. David Newman-Toker and Dr. Peter Pronovost stressed that diagnostic errors deserve the same attention as drug-prescribing errors, wrong-site surgeries, and hospital-acquired infections. Diagnostic misadventures represent a potentially much larger source of preventable health problems and deaths than many of the more popular targets of safety reform, they said. Tort claims for diagnostic errors -- defined as diagnoses that are missed, wrong, or delayed -- are nearly twice as common as claims for medication errors.
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