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MedSolutions Joins Call for Increased Attention on Diagnostic Errors
Date:4/8/2009

JAMA commentary highlights startling lack of focus on costly problem

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- MedSolutions (www.medsolutions.com), a provider of medical cost management services that help health plans control diagnostic imaging costs while improving quality of care, today commended a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) commentary that calls for the medical community to address the growing issue of diagnostic errors.

In their report ("Diagnostic Errors - The Next Frontier for Patient Safety" - JAMA, March 11, 2009), Johns Hopkins patient safety experts David Newman-Toker, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., assert greater public and scientific focus is needed to prevent diagnosis-related harm.

Often unrecognized or unreported, diagnostic errors receive little attention despite the fact that they cause up to 80,000 hospital deaths a year and result in twice as many tort claims as medication errors. In addition, roughly 5 percent of autopsies reveal diagnostic errors for which correct diagnosis and treatment could have averted death. No statistics exist for misdiagnosis-related deaths in outpatients.

"Despite the popular current focus on medical errors like prescription drug errors and hospital-acquired infections, diagnostic errors likely cause more harm. Diagnostic errors get very little attention from the medical community or the media," said Curt Thorne, chief executive officer of MedSolutions. "It is great that such a respected institution has highlighted this under-reported truth. Financial costs of misdiagnosis are obvious. Clearly, it wastes money to give the patient the wrong treatment, while at the same time failing to provide the right treatment earlier can cause disease to advance, making it more costly to control. It is about more than money, how
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SOURCE MedSolutions
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