Diagnosis on the part of doctors, medical specialists, dentists, and other healthcare professionals helps create the correct pathway to treatment. Medical professionals spend years of their education learning how to correctly recognize and diagnose treatments and today they have many tools at their disposal to help them, including lab tests, new technology, and more.
Misdiagnosis in Miami and other communities still continues to occur, however, and it can have devastating consequences. When doctors fail to correctly determine what illness a patient has in a timely fashion, potentially life-saving treatment may be delayed. This can affect quality of life and even lead to fatalities. An incorrect or missed diagnosis can also mean patients suffer the side effects of a treatment they didn’t need.
Every patient should be aware of the risk of misdiagnosis and may want to take steps to reduce the risk. A few things patients can do can include these tips:
- Have a family doctor: A family doctor gets to know your health situation over time and has a “big picture” idea of your health. They can follow up on specialist’s visits and be available to answer questions. A family physician can also provide preventive care and screening, which can curb the risk of missed or delayed diagnosis.
- Write it down: You may only have a few minutes with a doctor or specialist, and the amount of information exchanged can get confusing. Write down your questions and symptoms before you visit, so you don’t forget anything. During your visit, write down the information your doctor gives you, including the diagnosis, suggested treatment, and other details. This way, you can review the information later and can create follow-up questions.
- Verify information often: Your healthcare team can include nurses, nurse practitioners, administrative assistants, doctor aides, doctors, specialists, and other care providers. They are all sharing information to provide care to you, but it’s also a good idea to confirm your name, medical condition, allergies, and medications with every new team member you interact with, just to reduce the risk of crossed wires.
- Work on communication: Good communication is important to a correct diagnosis. If there is a symptom you are worried about or a lab test result you don’t understand, ask. Share new or changing symptoms, too. The clearer your communication with your healthcare team, the better.
- Consider bringing a health advocate: If you have a hard time remembering what is said at doctor’s appointments or get overwhelmed by the amount of information offered, ask to have a friend or family member sit in to take notes.
- Get a second opinion: If you get a serious diagnosis, always get a second opinion before starting treatment. This helps confirm a diagnosis and lowers the risk of a mistake. Above all, trust your instincts. If you feel that something is wrong, keep asking questions and seeking medical advice.
What To Do After a Misdiagnosis
If you have been misdiagnosed, the first priority is taking care of your health. If a serious illness has been missed or not diagnosed correctly, you will want to start appropriate treatment immediately to ensure the best possible outcome.
Another thing you may want to do is to speak with a Miami misdiagnosis injury claims attorney in Miami. You can do so by calling Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free, no obligation case consultation. If you have a claim, pursuing compensation can help you seek money to pay for medical care, lost income, and other losses so you don’t have to pay for them yourself.