Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Symposium Should Be About Patients

What’s in a Title?
I learned today that a non-doctor group won’t support a symposium sponsored by PULSE of NY, because the title has the word “doctor” which, in this group’s opinion, excludes other medical professionals.  The title of the symposium “Medical Diagnosis: Help Your Doctor Help You, Patients Involved in Healthcare, The role of Patient Engagement in Error Prevention” may be long, but it’s not “wrong” and doesn’t exclude anyone. 
The fact is many diagnoses are missed by doctors.  In a USNews article some 5 percent of autopsies find condition missed by doctors that, if treated, might have saved the patient's life. has a story offering “8 Ways to Help Your Doctor Make the Right Diagnosis.”  And, the NationalInstitute of Health explains that it is your primary care doctor who will diagnose asthma. The Parkinson’s Disease website also shares information about getting a diagnosis titled: How does your doctor make a PD diagnosis?  
Since physicians, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners can treat and diagnose illnesses, we need to be sure they are all getting it right.  According to Society to Improve Diagnosis in MedicineDiagnostic error is the leading cause of medical malpractice claims in the US, and is estimated to cause 40,000-80,000 deaths annually. One in every ten diagnoses is wrong and one in every thousand ambulatory diagnostic encounters results in harm.”
There is no doubt that this symposium to help patients and families understand how errors can be made in diagnosis could have been called Help Your Nurse, Physicians Assistant, Medical Team, Provider or Clinician Help You - but it isn’t. That’s because it’s usually the doctor that patients talk to when receiving a diagnosis and if it’s wrong, it’s the doctor who is held responsible.
If I stayed away from every conference, meeting or program that didn’t sound like it pertained to me, I would have stayed on Long Island the last 20 years and learned nothing.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! One of the best posts I've seen in a long time.