Second opinions led to changes in diagnosis or treatment more than 40% of the time. Not clear how many were right, though.Am J Med. 2015 Apr 23; [Epub ahead of print].
Evaluation of outcomes from a national patient-initiated second-opinion program.
Meyer AND, Singh H, Graber ML. Am J Med. 2015 Apr 23; [Epub ahead of print].
Diagnostic errors can lead to delayed or incorrect treatments, resulting in serious patient harms. Many patients seek second opinions in an attempt to mitigate this problem; however, the impact of these patient-initiated second opinions on outcomes has not been well defined. This study examined data from a large nationally administered program that allows patients to request second opinions from expert specialists. Second opinions led to a change in diagnosis or treatment in more than 40% of participants. The second opinion was judged to have moderate or major clinical impact on patients' diagnoses in approximately 21% of cases and on treatments in nearly 31%. It is not clear how often the second opinions were correct and whether they actually led to better patient outcomes. Even though 95% of participants were satisfied with the second opinion experience, only 61% planned to follow the expert's recommendation. As diagnostic errors garner more attention in patient safety, evaluating second opinion programs may help reveal patterns for identifying these types of errors.
Advancing the science of measurement of diagnostic errors in healthcare: the Safer Dx framework.
Singh H, Sittig DF. BMJ Qual Saf. 2015;24:103-110.
Why physicians err in diagnosis.
"First, know thyself": cognition and error in medicine.
Elia F, Aprà F, Verhovez A, Crupi V. Acta Diabetol. 2015 May 5; [Epub ahead of print].
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Diagnostic errors that lead to inappropriate antimicrobial use.
Filice GA, Drekonja DM, Thurn JR, Hamann GM, Masoud BT, Johnson JR. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2015 May 18; [Epub ahead of print].