The diagnostic process needs to be error-free to find the most accurate result. Emphor DLAS explains various steps of diagnostic process and how errors can be avoided to minimum.
Correct diagnosis is a simple and comprehensive method. Consider shingles, shingles can be recognized by the fluids coming out of the blister. When symptoms like chest pain, headache or any associated symptom appears, the multi-step approach needs to be done to diagnose further.
The diagnostic process is taught to all clinicians but hardly they are provided information about potential missteps that can lead to misdiagnosis. When a diagnostic process involves multiple steps, the chance of errors is always high. Diagnostic errors are a persistent problem that needs an immediate fixture and relearning the diagnostic process is the best method in practicing. We have understood that awareness, education and metacognition, with sustainable changes, can bring a considerable difference in the end result. Around 10- 12 components in the current diagnostic process were found to bring errors in the whole process.
The diagnostic process can be categorized into three:
- Initial Diagnostic Assessment- Patient history, physical exam, evaluation of the patient’s chief complaint and symptoms, forming a differential diagnosis, and ordering of diagnostic tests
- Diagnostic Testing- Performance, interpretation and communication of test results.
- Referral, Consultation, Treatment and Follow-up- Physician follow-up, referrals and consults, discharge process and patient compliance.
Studies found that 58% of errors occur at the first stage of assessment. Most of the wrong diagnostics happen at the early stage of the process, the clinician has to make a note of medication, surgeries, medical conditions, family and social history. Clinicians can miss out on data and might lose the comprehension of the patient’s current state. Heart disease, abdominal catastrophes and malignancies conditions need to be diagnosed properly.
Differential diagnosis is the process of gathering all the information about the patient, risk factors involved and measures took till now. The process is the most important step in the detection of a medical condition. Errors that occur in the early stages can make a considerable change to the final result making them off target.
Problems that are caused by the system overplays clinical results and cognitive errors at certain junctures. Incomplete or wrongly interpreted data can lead to inappropriate medical reasoning. Mistakes in the early stages of diagnosis can affect the entire process. A disoriented course of the process can also delay diagnosis results making serious consequences to patient’s medical outcome and safety.
Studies show. that 33% of error happens in the initial process, differential diagnosis; with errors in tests ordering comes to a close second of 30%. Incorrect or incomplete differential diagnosis can lead to wrong conclusions which suggest wrong treatment and undesired outcome.
The Institute of Medicine report on Goals for Improving Diagnosis and reduced error which implies on the importance of education and training for all healthcare workers in areas deemed to be deficient, including clinical reasoning, teamwork, communication, and the use of diagnostic testing.
Clinicians can recheck their diagnostic process and careful order each step to reveal not only its benefits but also make the whole process error-free. Emphor DLAS, one of the leading life-analytical science service- product provider offers some of the best diagnostic equipment for error-free scientific as well as medical processes.