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Data entry software can help avoid medical mistakes

Mar 30, 2018 | Failure to Diagnose

For many patients in New York, misdiagnosis can be a major concern. When a person has a progressive disease that is not caught in time, the consequences can be severe and even deadly. Therefore, cutting down on diagnostic errors is a major priority for health institutions, insurers and doctors.

One factor that can help to reduce the number of errors that take place in ultrasound and dual-energy X-ray (DEXA) radiology is the use of data entry software. In addition to avoiding misdiagnoses, the software can help to save time and money. Over a five-year period, up to $1 million in radiologists’ wages could be saved. A study conducted at the University of Colorado found that 6 to 28 percent of all ultrasound and DEXA reports contained data entry errors. The researchers noted that even simple errors can be a major problem, especially if those inaccurate reports contribute to the misdiagnosis of a condition.

The researchers said that medical mistakes can lead to lawsuits when patient care is mismanaged and leads to worsened medical conditions and lengthy hospital stays. Using a software system, on the other hand, helped significantly to cut down on errors. With the software in place, errors happened only rarely. While there would be an initial cost burden for institutions to install the software, there would be a long-term benefit over the years, researchers advised.

When physicians misdiagnose a serious condition, the patient could be considered a malpractice victim. A patient who has suffered poor health as a result of a doctor’s misdiagnosis can speak with a medical malpractice attorney. Legal counsel could provide advice about the potential of seeking compensation for the harms caused.