Medical diagnosis refers to the action of determining the nature of the cause of a condition. Simply put, it is the process of determining a person’s symptoms and signs. Medical diagnosis is more of an art than a science. Although it is opened up through scientific scrutiny, diagnosing a patient requires critical observations skills and a little bit of detective work. Medical practitioners have to be patient, to know how to listen and take in a great deal of information. Unfortunately, sometimes they miss health conditions. A failure or delay in determining of which condition a patient suffers is called misdiagnosis. Nowadays, many medical malpractice lawsuits stem from misdiagnosis. If you are thinking about making a personal injury claim, visit http://www.winwales.co.uk/. Read on to learn more about the diagnostic process and what the causes of failure.
The process of medical diagnosis
A medical diagnosis is not the same thing as a nursing diagnosis. While the former deals with diseases or medical conditions, the latter is concerned with human response to health issues. Sometimes, doctors sometimes need to conduct multiple tests to figure out what the patient is suffering from. Even though diagnosing a patient is considered an art, this does not mean that it does not involve a sequence of phases.
- Pre-analytic phase
It takes place in the laboratory, where most errors occur. The vulnerability lies in the number of tests that clinicians are required to make. They have to collect sample, identify patients, prepare samples and test specimens. If clinicians are careless, then problems and errors occur. This is why rigorous control systems are set in place. Nonetheless, mistakes, like choosing the wrong collection container, still take place.
- Analytic phase
The quality of the analytical phase is crucial. If the laboratory results are not correctly interpreted and verified by the technologist, then blunders occur and the patient’s safety is at risk. The analytical phase implies making sure that the tests have clinical validity. Medical decisions are made based on the reports, which is why it is important to examine performance and accuracy.
- Post-analytic phase
This last phase implies validating analytical data. Post-analytic testing can result in many errors. Clinicians completely ignore re-examining the results, thinking that it is not necessary. If laboratory information is partly used, it is not surprising that mistakes like manual transmission errors or improper turn-around time are not identified.
Medical diagnosis is a challenging procedure
Diagnosing diseases is far from being easy. The reason for this is that patients rarely have clear symptoms, so confusing one medical condition for the other is possible. Therefore, a disease is identified when the patient has no such ailments or, worse, the medical diagnosis is not classified correctly. Reasons that can lead to misdiagnosis are malfunctioning equipment, the patient’s refusal to share critical information, and, of course, the language barrier. If the failure or delay to diagnose is the result of the medical practitioner’s carelessness, you can sue under the theory of medical negligence. Misdiagnosis is negligence.