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What causes delays in diagnosis? 

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

The body’s immune system is incredible and it fights off numerous ailments all the time. However, there are ailments that the immune system cannot cope with alone. This is where medical intervention comes in. 

There are several steps that must be completed before medical treatments can be successfully administered. The first part of this process is an accurate diagnosis. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is crucial so that the correct medication, surgery or treatment plan can be put in place. Usually, doctors get this first step right, but that isn’t always the case. 

Unfortunately, studies indicate that up to 5% of medical outpatients receive a delayed or inaccurate diagnosis. How does this happen? 


Communication is an important part of the diagnostic process. Only a patient knows how they feel, and describing symptoms to medical staff can help unpack the diagnosis. Of course, for this to work, the medical staff must listen properly and pass on relevant information. A breakdown in communication between patient and doctor, or between medical staff, can result in diagnostic errors. 


It’s no secret that hospitals and medical institutions are busy places. Nursing staff, doctors and other employees usually do a fantastic job of managing their caseloads without sacrificing patient care. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Understaffing in medical facilities is a serious issue that can compromise patient care, including obtaining an accurate diagnosis. 

Without an accurate diagnosis, it’s unlikely that treatments will help. In fact, being administered the wrong type of treatment can do significant harm. A wrongful diagnosis could be classified as medical malpractice when negligence is present. Seek legal guidance to find out more about your options.