In the article “Wrong or late diagnosis likely to affect most Americans” from September 23rd, Lena H. Sun touches on some key information uncovered in an report from the Institute of Medicine.
The new report by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, outlines a systemwide problem. The report’s authors say they don’t know how many diagnostic errors take place. Some estimates say it affects at least 12 million adults each year.
According to the article,
What’s more, errors will likely worsen because of the growing complexity of the diagnostic process and the delivery of health care, according to the committee that conducted the study.
Several experts were cited in the article adding additional points and stories to highlight the pervasiveness of diagnostic error. These errors are particularly evident in the area of rare genetic conditions. In this exciting era when new treatments are being discovered and evaluated for previously untreatable genetic conditions, the need to identify quickly and start treatment early is obvious. Even if the condition doesn’t have a treatment yet, knowing that the condition runs in family and specific health problems can be watched for and treated early can improve quality and length of life.
Watching the life impact of late or misdiagnosis, we have developed an academic-patient support-business partnership called ThinkGenetic designed to address this very problem by providing curated information that helps patients and their doctors get accurate information and shorten the time to diagnosis.
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